Tring Athletic came away from Oxhey Jets with an impressive if slightly fortuitous 3-2 victory in the SSML Premier on Saturday.
Athletic were again without a number of players but credit to those, including a number of young players, who came into the side for battling throughout the 90 minutes.
As expected the home side started the better but it was Athletic who created the first chance when Adam Scotcher, back in the side after a short absence, had his shot scrambled away. Oxhey then had a period of dominance in which keeper Jack Hopwood tipped a terrific shot by Ellis Brown over the bar, then saved brilliantly from Luke Wells’ shot from 30 yards.
Tring felt they should have had a penalty when Scotcher was tripped in the area but the referee was not uinterested. A further chance fell to Luke Dunstan after Jack Sunderland’s run and pull back found him,but his shot went straight at the keeper.
It was goalless at the break but within three minutes of the restart Athletic were 2-0 up.
From Sam Joliffe’s free kick the keeper spilled his shot but Sunderland was on hand to quickly fire into the net. A minute later a flowing move down the right side by Sunderland saw Scotcher’s cross find Dunstan six yards out to flick the ball into the corner of the net.
Just past the hour Tring scored their third, although Scotcher took his goal well it appeared that he collected the ball in an offside position.
With just seven minutes left Jets did score following a penetrating run by a defender who ran from inside his own half unchallenged before finding Luke Wells who then beat Hopwood.
Just two minutes later they scored a second. Athletic had lost some of their composure and were unable to clear it before the ball again found Wells to scramble the ball home.
Hopwood was called upon again to maintain Athletic’s lead in the 89th minute. In the first minute of added time Athletic again failed to clear their lines, a shot came in which rebounded from a post but then struck an Athletic arm and a penalty was given.
Up stepped Martin Netzer but his shot hit the post and rebounded to him to score into an empty net, however the referee ruled this out for offside. This upset the home players as they maintained Hopwood had got a hand to the spot kick, which he duly admitted after the game, but none of the officials had seen this.
Tring visit Walsham Le Willows in the FA Vase on Saturday and then go to London Tigers on Tuesday in the SSML Premier Division Cup.
TAFC: Jack Hopwood, Jack Seaton, Chris Mason, Paddy Downes (Lanre Ladipo 72), Dan Steadman(c), James Banfield, Ryan Stuges, Sam Joliffe, Adam Scotcher (Callum Gregory 67), Jack Sunderland, Luke Dunstan (Chris Stapleton 58).
Oxhey Jets: Rob Partington, Louis Mateus, Bradley Thompson, Leigh Stevens, Jack Robertson(c) (Oliver Cole 67), Bar Hariely, Tom Inch, Scott Pugsley, Luke Lloyd, Luke Wells, Ellis Brown (Martin Netzer 58).