Athletic bounce back to form with thumping victory over Holmer Green

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Tring Athletic put an end to Holmer Green’s excellent form with an emphatic 5-1 win as they got back into winning ways following two defeats on the spin.

Athletic started the game by kicking down the slope with a strong wind behind them, and they soon made the most of it with Lee Stobbs firing just wide after four minutes and then taking the lead two minutes later.

From a corner Dan Steadman headed back across goal, and the ball fell to Dave O’Connor who fired in from just a few yards out.

Green were finding it difficult to get forward with the prevailing conditions, and Athletic had further chances.

First Kieran Turner forced keeper Sam Butcher to concede a corner, and then Luke Dunstan had a header cleared off the line following another corner.

All this pressure soon told as Athletic increased their lead in the 15th minute. A superb cross-field ball by Taylor Collins found Stobbs out on the right; his first touch was excellent and allowed him to pull the back for the incoming Chris Blunsden to score confidently.

Another shot by Turner was saved by Butcher for a corner, and Athletic scored again in the 21st minute.

Chris Mason won a tackle in his own half and fed Turner who played an exquisite through-ball for Blunsden to deftly place the ball past Butcher from the edge of the area.

Holmer Green’s first clear opportunity fell to Dean Powles in the 23rd minute, but his header from a free-kick went straight to Athletic keeper Matt Evans.

The start of the second half saw Holmer Green take the game to Athletic, with a free-kick in the 51st minute headed over the bar by Dean Powles.

Athletic created their first opportunity of the half when Collins brought a double save out of Butcher in the 67th minute, followed by a header by Dave O’Connor going just wide from a corner.

With just six minutes left Holmer Green scored following a long throw. The ball bounced awkwardly in Athletic’s area before finding substitute Ryan Willmott who had the simplest of chances to head into the goal.

With Holmer pushing forward to try and score again it was Athletic who exploited this with a quick break as Stobbs crossed into the area where Turner was on hand to score.

In the last minute of normal time, Athletic scored again when Turner collected the ball just outside of the penalty area before placing an excellent shot into the far corner of the goal.