Tring Athletic 2 Stotfold 0
Tring Athletic had a couple of club stalwarts to thank as they overcame a resolute Stotfold side to pick up all three points on Saturday.
With the scores tied at 0-0 at half-time, late goals from Andy Humphreys and Chris Salmon broke the deadlock to ensure Tring secured the win.
Both sides had chances to score in a quick-fire opening to the game, and Athletic saw a goal correctly chalked off for offside.
At the other end, Athletic keeper Mike Underwood was called into action to keep out an effort with his legs, before Tring’s Connor Waire headed over from a Paul Jeffrey cross with half-time approaching.
The second half started as the first had finished, with both sides pushing for a goal. A move down Stotfold’s left in the 47th minute saw the ball played into the Athletic area, but Lewis Holmes could only head over the bar from six yards out.
A Matt Jarvis header drifted wide for Tring, before they came agonisingly close to taking the lead as a long-range Jeffrey drive cannoned back off the post.
Stotfold responded with a period of pressure of their own, but the Tring breakthrough finally arrived in the 72nd minute as Humphreys fired home a loose ball to give his side the lead.
And the win was sealed in the 80th minute, courtesy of Salmon, who volleyed home from Jeffrey’s pin-point cross.
To their credit, Stotfold did not give up hope of salvaging something from the game, but Athletic were not about to let their lead slip, and hung on doggedly to secure the victory.
The Tring Athletic Ladies, meanwhile, made an excellent start to the new season as they hit Knaphill for six.
Player of the match Sally Green helped herself to four goals, and Gemma Coggins and Catherine Murphy completed the 6-0 rout.