It’s the final countdown for Athletic after Welwyn rout

Sam Joliffe bagged Tring's third goal from close range. Picture (c) Colin Sturges
Sam Joliffe bagged Tring's third goal from close range. Picture (c) Colin Sturges

Tring Athletic booked their place in the final of the Herts Charity Shield as they delivered a terrific performance to thrash title chasing Welwyn Garden City 6-0.

Tring could even afford to miss a penalty – Sam Joliffe’s effort being saved in the third minute – but that didn’t deter them as Taylor Collins curled home a shot from outside the area just two minutes later.

The visitors came back strongly and enjoyed their fair share of possession, but they were unable to break through the well organised Athletic defence which was superbly marshalled by captain Dan Steadman.

With 44 minutes on the clock, Athletic stunned their visitors with a superb piece of play from Kieran Turner, who chipped the ball over the keeper and in off the far post from out wide.

City’s first half woes got worse two minutes into added time and again it was Turner who was the chief architect of their downfall as he set up Joliffe to net from close range.

The visitors made two changes at the start of the second half but disaster struck them within 66 seconds after a defensive blunder allowed Joliffe to grab his second goal.

With the result now beyond doubt, it was left to Joe Naylor and Turner to score goals number five and six to put the icing on the cake.

Tring manager Ian Richardson said: “It was an outstanding performance from the first minute to the last.

“With a clean sheet and six goals I couldn’t ask for more.”

Athletic last lifted this cup in 2008 and in the final they will play either Hadley or Harpenden Town, who meet in the other semi-final on January 27.

Next up for Athletic is a trip to Hertford Town on Saturday for a Premier Division fixture.

Tring Athletic: 1 Matt Evans, 2 Jack Seaton, 3 Stuart Stedman, 4 Jack Westlake, 5 Dan Steadman (C), 6 Kevin McManus (15 Dave O’Connor 72), 7 Lee Stobbs, 8 Sam Joliffe, 9 Taylor Collins (16 Joe Naylor 75), 10 Kieran Turner, 11 Luke Dunstan (12 Ryan McMahon 58). Subs not used: 14 Ben Seaton, 17 Jack Hopwood.