IT was a night of mixed emotions for Tring Athletic and Berkhamsted in Tuesday’s Premier Division Cup fixtures.
While Tring progressed to the third round with a 2-1 win over Hadley, Berko were dumped out at the first hurdle as Oxhey Jets romped to a 4-1 win.
Tring have made a habit of winning tight matches of late, and it was no different on Tuesday as they produced a dramatic late turnaround to keep their cup dreams alive.
Trailing 1-0 with just four minutes remaining, things looked bleak for Julian Robinson’s men, but they dug deep to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
With the clock ticking down, Athletic were handed a lifeline as they were awarded a penalty.
And with the club’s cup aspirations resting on his shoulders, Tring captain Graham Hall led by example as he slotted home the penalty to restore parity – despite slipping whilst making contact.
Visibly buoyed by the goal, Tring pressed for a winner – and Connor Waite duly delivered.
Not for the first time this season, the Tring man popped up in the right place at the right time to slam the ball home and send his team through to the next stage of the competition.
By contrast, Berkhamsted endured a miserable night as they lost heavily in the first round of the tournament.
After three wins on the spin, the Comrades were full of confidence, but found themselves a goal down after just seven minutes as Spencer Bellotti fired Oxhey Jets in front.
The home side continued to press and, despite a few threatening forays from Berkhamsted, doubled their advantage shortly before half-time through Lewis Putman.
A third Oxhey goal followed after the interval, before Matt Wardle hit one back for Berko.
It was too little too late for the Comrades, though, and Bellotti wrapped up the win for the Jets with his second goal.
Elsewhere, troubled times continued for Kings Langley as they were thrashed 5-1 by high-flying Harpenden Town.
Town went 3-0 up before half-time, and put the game beyond doubt following a consolation from Kings’ Mark Hansard.