Title-chasing Tring Athletic earned an important 3-0 home win over North Greenford United on Saturday.
The victory keeps them atop the SSML Premier Division table as the season edges towards an exciting conclusion.
Tring played really well and could have won by a much larger margin had Greenford’s keeper Frazer Siddall not performed heroics.
The three points were key ahead of the biggest match of the season last night (Tuesday) as the Gazette was going to press. Tring were due to visit fellow title-challengers Biggleswade FC. Although their opponents are in third place and three points behind Tring in the table, Biggleswade have two games in hand so a win for Tring would go a long way to dent their hopes and solidify Tring’s championship credentials.
Athletic cant afford to drop any more points in their last four league games if they want to be the champions and earned promotion.
That crunch clash will be followed on Saturday with a trip to 12th-placed Edgware Town.
Hadley in second and to a lesser extent Biggleswade United in fourth also pose a threat to Tring’s title aspirations as the season winds down to a fascinating ending.
Tring’s scorers on Saturday were Mark Riddick, Dave O’Connor and Kieran Turner from the penalty spot.
After creating numerous chances and being thwarted on several occasions by an on-fire Siddall, Tring finally broke the deadlock on the cusp of the half-time whistle.
With time nearly up it looked as if Athletic had been unable to make their domination tell but from a corner Riddick produced a downward header that finally broke Greenford’s resistance and they were able to take a 1-0 lead into the break.
Despite hogging possession throughout, Athletic still only had a slim one-goal lead and they needed a second goal to put the game to bed.
That finally arrived in the 76th minute following a short corner when Turner floated a lovely cross to the far post to pick out his tall central defensive colleague O’Connor who precisely headed the ball high into the net.
The visitors’ captain Ben Long was given a straight red card in time added on for a bit of handbags which was out-of-keeping with the rest of the game.
A Greenford defender then pulled down O’Connor in the area for a penalty in the 95th minute
Tring’s captain Turner stepped up to convert the spot kick to give the score line a more realistic feel.