War of the Roses for Athletic as Hertford take the spoils

Ryan Sturges netted the opening goal for Tring. Picture (c) Colin Sturges
Ryan Sturges netted the opening goal for Tring. Picture (c) Colin Sturges

Tring Athletic went down 4-2 to Hertford Town in an entertaining SSML Premier Division match at The Grass Roots Stadium on Saturday.

The visitors were indebted to brothers Louis Rose and Leigh Rose, who grabbed a brace of goals apiece to earn a solid away victory.

Athletic, however, will feel they were the architects of their own downfall after they conceded three goals in an 11-minute spell around half-time.

The hosts had started positively, with Ollie Butler, Adam Toone and Kevin McManus all coming close in the opening stages.

After a slow start, Hertford started to get into their stride, with Leigh Rose heading wide and Tring keeper Matt Evans saving well from Charlie E Smith.

Greg Deer then fired a terrific effort just over for Athletic, before Sam Joliffe smashed a fine shot that produced an equally good save from the keeper who also smothered the follow up.

Five minutes before half-time, Athletic got some reward for their good play when Trevor Gibbs slipped a nice pass to Ryan Sturges who went past the defender and fired home for his second goal of the season.

Just three minutes later, though, Athletic had undone all their good work in the first period by allowing Louis Rose to head home a free-kick.

Tring started the second half badly and Hertford took full advantage with Leigh Rose touching home a cross in the 47th minute.

The home side were still asleep seven minutes later when Louis Rose headed home a free-kick.

The game appeared to be drifting away from Athletic but, two minutes later, they were given a lifeline when Joliffe was pulled down in the area – Greg Deer converted the penalty and Tring were right back in the mix.

With a little over 10 minutes to go, Kieran Turner played Joliffe through but he placed his shot narrowly the wrong side of the post with only the keeper to beat.

Kieran Turner volleyed a fine effort just over and he later had shots blocked as Athletic search desperately for an equaliser.

However, with players having pushed forward, Athletic were finally finished off three minutes into added time when the visitors broke quickly and Leigh Rose grabbed the decisive fourth goal.

Both sides played their part in producing an entertaining and end-to-end game, but Athletic will feel disappointed at coming away from the clash empty handed.

However, there was some good news for Tring with captain Chris Salmon and centre forward Stewart King both likely to return to the side for this weekend’s tough fixture at home to Dacorum rivals Kings Langley.