Tring Corinthians suffered late heartbreak in sweltering conditions on Saturday as they went down 2-1 at home to SSML Division Two table toppers Kent Athletic.
Tring looked set to earn a point against an Athletic side who had only lost one league game in 18 months, but the visitors struck late to snatch the three points in dramatic fashion.
Tring were depleted due to a variety of reasons – from holidays to barbecues and a lack of baby sitters – but Colin Phillips’ side were still competitive against a tough and physical Kent outfit in a game of few chances.
Kent went ahead on 30 minutes with a soft deflected goal and held on until half-time, but Corries came out more competitive and rejuvenated after the break.
Man of the match Rob Lear was commanding proceedings from the back, with debutante Michael Green partnering him expertly.
Tring’s improvements paid off on 65 minutes when top scorer Trevor Gibbs earned a penalty, which he lashed home with glee to level the scores at 1-1.
A draw looked inevitable, however Kent showed superior fitness levels to get on top again and slack marking resulted in Corries conceding a second goal in agonising fashion in the 89th minute.
Elsewhere, Corries Reserves put in an excellent display to draw 1-1 at Sun Sports in a noon kick-off. Ollie Ruttle was the scorer with a cracker from 25 yards.