Athletic battle through to the semis

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Tring Athletic 3
 Bovingdon 2

Tring Athletic overcame a determined Bovingdon side in their St Mary’s Cup quarter-final at The Grassroots Stadium.

Athletic started the better of the two sides, with Jack Sunderland seeing a lot of the ball and testing full-back Ryan Anthony.

In the 15th minute, Reon Thomas worked former Athletic keeper Craig Ringsell, who turned the ball away for a corner.

However, the visitors responded well and opened the scoring in the 23rd minute when Josh Bundy fired in a speculative shot from a long way out.

Tring keeper Adam Robinson appeared to have the effort covered, but the ball slipped out of his hands and into the net.

Athletic did not panic, though, and fought themselves back into the game in the 33rd minute.

Graham Hall fed the ball to Sunderland, who in turn exchanged passes with Vinnie Iannone, and fired home his first goal for the first team.

Bovingdon’s Arron Bavistock then became the first player to be cautioned following an off the ball incident as Athletic enjoyed a strong passage of play.

Iannone narrowly missed a cross from Thomas at the back post, before Jack Thompson clipped the bar with half-time approaching.

Athletic started the second half on the front foot and took the lead in the 53rd minute.

A quick break out of defence saw Paul Jeffreys find Thomas, and he held the ball up before passing to an unmarked Iannone to beat Ringsell with a cool finish.

Athletic were creating chances and won a number of corners but were unable to add to their score.

And in the 65th minute the hosts were made to pay for their profligacy as Bovingdon equalised.

From a free-kick near the halfway line, the ball was played into a crowded Athletic penalty area where Matt MacMahon managed to head home off the post.

It was not long before Athletic regained the initiative, however.

Full-back Sam Addae gained possession just inside Bovingdon’s half, before laying the ball off to Thompson on the edge of the area to coolly slot home past the unsighted Ringsell.

Half-chances were created by both sides towards the end of the game, but neither team were able to add to the score line and Athletic booked their spot in the last-four of the competition.