Tring Athletic earned themselves another shot of making round four of the FA Vase after drawing 1-1 at FC Romania.
Tring had to undertake a 120-mile round trip to Hornchurch on Saturday to face the Essex Senior League outfit, and although they earned a creditable draw and the chance to finish the job off on home territory, Athletic will have come away with mixed emotions because they should have had the game wrapped up after only half an hour.
Their hosts, as their name suggests, contained players who were all from the eponymous east European country and they were highly skilled individuals who had lost only once in their last 11 games.
But during the opening 30 minutes Athletic took them apart, creating a succession of clear-cut chances which should have seen them safely through to the next round already.
After a tentative start by both teams, the visitors started to get into their stride and opened scoring after only 10 minutes. From a corner, Jack Seaton headed the ball across the area to Sam Joliffe who neatly half volleyed the ball in off the post.
Kieron Turner was brilliantly denied a second on two separate occasions, first by the home keeper and then by a defender who cleared off the line.
A few minutes later it was Chris Vardy’s turn to go close, beating the keeper to a through ball but being clipped in the process before he was forced too far wide to find the target.
With just over half an hour gone not much had been seen of the home attack which was the second most prolific in their division having scored 57 goals in 19 games, but against the run of play they found an equaliser and the game became more of an even contest thereafter. Llie Vasile got the goal and there were chances for both sides to win it in what time remained but neither could apply the finishing touch.
If they can recapture the sharp play they produced in the opening 30 minutes Tring will fancy their chances of progressing to the fourth round of this prestigious national competition for the first time ever.
The replay will likely take place at The Grass Roots Stadium on Tuesday, and on Saturday Tring face a tough local derby when they visit Leverstock Green.