AFC Dunstable have one hand on the SSML Premier Division title after a comprehensive 5-0 win over Tring Athletic at the Grass Roots Stadium.
Dunstable need one point to make absolutely sure of lifting the title, but in reality can start celebrating now as they have a far superior goal difference over their only challengers, London Colney.
Tring will not look back on Saturday’s encounter with any pleasure as they were second best for much of the match.
They were not helped when they conceded a soft penalty after only five minutes when Ryan McMahon was penalised for allegedly holding his opponent in the area.
Leon Cashman showed no sympathy by crashing home the generous spot kick to get his side off to a perfect start.
Tring took a while to recover but came close to an equaliser in the 22nd minute when Chris Stapleton cleverly played Ryan Sturges through and he was denied by a brilliant save from visiting keeper Ricky Perks.
Six minutes later AFC doubled their lead when a long ball was headed on and Nathan Frater slotted home for 2-0.
Athletic’s task was made almost impossible nine minutes before the break when Dunstable’s top scorer BJ Christie latched on to a long cross into the area and headed home.
Athletic had a chance to pull a goal back just before the break when Kieran Turner robbed Dunstable captain Moses Olaleye on the bye-line and crossed the ball to McMahon whose shot was blocked on the goal line, as was Chris Stapleton’s follow up effort.
Ten minutes after the restart AFC increased their lead when Jermaine Hall scored from close range after Athletic failed to deal with a free-kick.
It was all now all about damage limitation and pride for Athletic, but apart from half chances for Stapleton and Lee Stobbs, they never looked like scoring.
The last word went to Christie as he got his side’s fifth goal right on time to complete the rout.
Athletic have just three league games left but have two cup finals to look forward to.
By beating Bovingdon 4-1 in midweek they booked their place in the St Marys Cup final where they will face a very tough encounter against Southern League champions Kings Langley.
They will also play either Hadley or Harpenden Town in the Herts Charity Shield Final on May 17, so they still have plenty to play for.
Tring Athletic: 1 Jack Hopwood 2 Jack Seaton (15 Stuart Stedman 83) 3 Chris Mason 4 Ryan McMahon (12 Jay Caines 67) 5 Dan Steadman (Capt) 6 Dave O’Connor 7 Lee Stobbs 8 Luke Dunstan 9 Chris Stapleton 10 Kieran Turner 11 Ryan Sturges (14 Ben Seaton 65). Subs not used: 16 Jack Westlake 17 Kevin McManus.
AFC Dunstable: 1 Ricky Perks 2 Courtney Massey 3 Newman Carney (12 Danny Jones HT) 4 Terry Griffiths 5 Leon Cashman 6 Moses Olaleye (Capt) 7 Charlie Gorman (15 Roy Byron 66) 8 Josh Humbert 9 Bernard Christie 10 Jermaine Hall (16 Ben Darby 80) 11 Nathan Frater. Subs not used: 14 Ben Morgan 17 Matt Langston.