Tring Athletic 3 Hullbridge Sports 2
TRING Athletic have made it through to the second round of the FA Vase after winning 3-2 for the third match in a row.
Athletic showed spirit and determination to come from a goal behind to surge into a commanding 3-1 lead, but a second Hullbridge goal with seven minutes to go made for a grandstand finish to the game.
Hosts Tring started the game brightly and almost went ahead after 11 minutes, but Graham Hall’s superb free-kick was tipped round the post by Sports keeper Richard Bastin.
It was the away side who broke the deadlock, though, as a misunderstanding between Tring’s Chris Salmon and keeper Mike Underwood allowed Jordan Williams to tap home into an empty net from a tight angle to give his side the lead.
Tring, however, continued to produce some good attacking play, and the hosts were back on level terms after 24 minutes.
After a delightful team move, David Whicker’s fine cross was met by Vinnie Iannone, and he headed home to restore parity.
An injury to Underwood meant that Tom Vincent took his place between the sticks for Athletic in the second-half, but the change didn’t affect the hosts who took the lead in the 63rd minute.
A partially-cleared corner was played back into the area, and Stewart King pounced on the lose ball to slot home.
Sports almost hit back immediately but Julian Simon-Parson squandered a good opportunity, before King threatened again for Tring.
And the Athletic man was in the thick of the action again soon after as he won a penalty to give his side the chance to net a crucial third goal.
King was felled in the area by Bastin, and David Whicker cooly dispatched the resulting spot-kick to put Athletic in control.
The drama was not done there, though, as Hullbridge hit back through Williams with seven minutes left.
And the Sports forward had a glorious opportunity to complete his hat-trick and send the game into extra time, but he fired over from close range to the collective relief of the Grass Roots faithful.