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First team report  

Sat 11th Feb 2017
Spartan South Midlands Premier Division
Welwyn Garden City 2-3 TAFC First team

TAFC goals: Luke Dunstan, Jack Read, Chris Mason
After the dissapointing mid week loss to Hertford Town, Athletic needed to get back on track, and did so in style with a superb battling win over a strong Welwyn side !

Tring had to do it the hard way, conceeding a goal after 40 seconds, a long kick from Welwyn keeper Metcalfe made its way through to centre forward Ash Kersey who slotted the ball past Hopwood 1-0.

Tring responded in fine style pushing forward, Luke Dunstan having a header cleared off the line after 6 minutes and a Jack Reed shot tipped over the bar by the busy Metcalfe a couple of minutes later.

In the 13th minute Reed was pulled down just outside the area when clean through on goal, resulting in only a booking for the Welwyn defender !!

A great passage of play in the 20th minute resulted in a well deserved equaliser for Athletic, a long ball down the right set Chris Vardy away, who in turn passed inside to Tommy Twelves, whose stinging shot was again saved well by Metcalfe. From the resulting corner Lee Stobbs delivered a great cross for Luke Dunstan to plant a bullet header into the net. Score 1-1.

Jack Seaton had to replace the injured Seb Smith after 25 mins for his first game in a couple of months. Welwyn still looked dangerous when going forward, but it was Tring who were having the better chances, Lee Stobbs shooting straight at the keeper after beating the offside trap, then another goalmouth scramble resulted in chances for both Reed and Vardy after great play by Sturges and Mason. With time running out in the first half, a great run and cross from Chris Mason was met by Jack Reed, who got between two defenders, his header looping into the net, to give Tring a 2-1 lead. This was Jack's first goal for Tring, and against his old team to !         

Half Time:  Welwyn Garden City 1 Tring Athletic 2

Welwyn made two enforced substitutions at half time, and one of these Marcus Campbell was the player who charged down a Jack Hopwood clearance after 55 minutes, having the simple task of slotting home into an empty net. Score 2-2.

The home team then had a period of pressure, and probably should have taken the lead when it looked easier to score than miss, but somehow the Welwyn forward managed to balloon his shot over the bar. That miss proved to be costly, as in the 71st minute Tring scored the winning goal. A Lee Stobbs free kick on the left was whipped in, Luke Dunstan headed back across the goal, where Chris Mason of all people was on hand to tap home after the keeper failed to hold the ball. This was Chris’s first ever goal for Tring. Score: 2-3 

With Chris Stapleton coming on for Jack Reed, and with Welwyn pushing forward, Tring had the better chances as the game went on, Chris Vardy was then replaced by young Max Hercules, making his senior debut, and he was unlucky not to get on the end of a Lee Stobbs cross after 87 minutes, Max is the son of former Aylesbury Utd legend Cliff Hurcules who is also our youth team manager, hopefully we will be seeing more of Max in the first team over the next couple of seasons. Four minutes of added time were seen off by Athletic, to register a fine away win.

Special mention must go to Welwyns hard working committee, who managed to get the pitch playable on a cold wintery day. This win moves Athletic up to 5th in the table.

Welwyn Garden City: Metcalfe, Griffith, Welsh, Lee, Boodhoo, Coughlan, Bronti, Long, Kersey, Robbins, Morris  Subs: Carty, Campbell and Arnott
Tring Athletic: Hopwood, Twelves, Mason, Dunstan, Steadman, Smith,(Seaton 25) Sturges, Jolliffe, Vardy(Hurcules 80), Stobbs, Reed(Stapleton 61)

(No photos on file)