A potent second half performance saw Tring Athletic claim a 6-1 victory on Saturday – their biggest ever victory over neighbours Leverstock Green.
In midweek Tring endured a grueling game against FC Romania to progress through to the Fourth Round of the FA Vase for the first time, but any concerns that this would leave them drained were dispelled as they claimed their best win of the season.
The match was fairly tight for an hour with Athletic holding just a slim 2-1 lead, but a burst of four goals in just over 20 minutes left the home side reeling.
Leading the way were Kieran Turner and Lee Stobbs, who recently returned to Athletic after a spell at Aylesbury FC, with the former grabbing a hat-trick and the latter scoring a Christmas cracker.
Chris Stapleton also chipped in with the important opener but the biggest cheer was for Chris Vardy who like his Leicester City name sake ended his barren run with a goal.
Athletic started well with Dave O’Connor lifting a shot from a corner over the bar and Turner trying his luck with a few shots that didn’t trouble the keeper.
Green were sharp going forward and they had a possible opening when Tremayne Charles broke down the right but with colleagues waiting in the middle he produced a poor cross.
Just past the half hour mark a poor clearance presented Lee Stobbs with a chance but he was foiled by a great save from the keeper. From the corner the ball was recycled back to George Brinkman was drilled a superb cross to the far post where Stapleton was waiting to open the scoring with his fourth goal of the season.
Green came back strongly and five minutes before half time former Athletic player Shane Wood got on the end of a cross just beyond the far post sending it back across the goal but none of his colleagues were on hand to apply the finishing touch. The home side went close again right on half time when centre back Kendall Allen headed a corner just wide.
Any hopes the home side had of using the slope to their advantage in the second half were dealt a psychological blow within 34 seconds of the restart when Turner took full advantage of the home defence’s failure to clear a cross from Lee Stobbs to drill the ball past the keeper into the far corner.
Green responded within five minutes when a quick breakaway the Athletic defence napping and Ross Adams took full advantage to covert a cross from Charles.
The home side sniffed the possibility of a comeback but just past the hour Vardy took an opportune moment to end his goal drought by confidently dispatching a cross from Stobbs.
Athletic were in no mood to let their opponents back into the game again and started to turn the screw. Turner forced a terrific save from the keeper and Vardy went close. The game was finally put to bed in the 73rd minute when from outside the box Lee Stobbs curled a brilliant shot into the top far corner.
Turner completed his hat-trick with a penalty, after he had been tripped, in the 82nd minute and a header from a Chris Stapleton cross two minutes later to make it a day to remember for Athletic but one to forget for the hosts.
It was a superb performance from Athletic particularly in the second half. Despite the three points they still remain eighth in the table, but if they win their games in hand they will move up a couple of places.
Athletic have two more tough fixtures coming up. They visit Kings Langley on Tuesday in the Herts Senior Cup then on Saturday they travel to Biggleswade United for a league game.
LG: 1 Liam Jahn 2 George Biggerdike 3 Casey Linsell 4 Shane Wood (Capt) 5 Kendall Allen 6 Ben Darby 7 Ross Adams 8 Karl Thomas (12 Jonathan Lacey 54) 9 Karl Davidson (17 Lewis Davis 65) 10 Tremayne Charles (16 Louis Smith 77) 11 Danielson Vicente. Subs not used: 14 Zac Howells 15 Kane Axten
TA: 1 Jack Hopwood 2 Tommy Twelves (12 Ben Johnson 80) 3 Chris Mason (15 Stuart Stedman 80) 4 George Brinkman 5 Dan Steadman (Capt) 6 David O’Connor 7 Lee Stobbs 8 Luke Dunstan (14 Paddy Downes 80) 9 Chris Vardy 10 Kieran Turner 11 Chris Stapleton.
LG: Ross Adams (51)