Gritty Tring have wind in their sails

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Tring Athletic 3-2 Hillingdon Borough

TRING Athletic dug deep to record a 3-2 win at home to Hillingdon Borough on Saturday despite the absence of eight first team regulars.

Efforts from Ryan Redford and Brett Court, as well as an own goal, were enough for Athletic to overcome their opponents at a windy Grass Roots Stadium.

While the football may not have been as attractive as Tring have shown this season, there was no questioning the commitment of Phil Casserley’s makeshift side who made up for a disappointing loss to Hadley on Wednesday.

Tring lined up in an untried 3-5-2 formation, and the players understandably took time to become acquainted with the new set-up.

The first 15 minutes of the game were somewhat uneventful, but the encounter came to life when Redford slotted home the opener.

Dave Whicker cut the ball back to Vinnie Iannone and, after his shot was blocked, Redford was on hand to put the hosts 1-0 ahead.

Tring had chances to double their lead, but it was Hillingdon who scored the next goal to bring the game level after 30 minutes.

The first half scoring was not done there, though, and Athletic found themselves back in front at the interval courtesy of an own goal after an Ashley Addison cross.

And fifteen minutes into the second half, the hosts extended their lead thanks to a thumping header from Brett Court from another fine Addison delivery.

But the visitors were not about to lie down without a fight, and they pulled a goal back to set up a grandstand last 20 minutes.

Tring boss Casserley responded by shuffling the pack and reverting to a 4-4-2 formation, and the change in tactics seemed to work as Tring held out for the hard-earned three points to keep the pressure on league-leaders Chalfont St Peter.

Casserley said: “We had a dreadful loss in midweek, so winning Saturday’s game with eight players missing was a big result.

“I thought the players did well and the 3-5-2 system worked well. The win was hard-fought rather than compelling.”

“I thought the referee spoiled the game but the lads knuckled down well.”