8th April 2017, Tring Athletic ‘B’, Home (League)
Global were unlucky not to grab a point against title chasers Tring Athletic ‘B’ after a heroic defensive effort at the weekend.
Having fallen foul of some frankly crap fixture arrangement by the Potten End fixture monkey, Global’s squad had been left decimated by a lack of options with the Easter holidays just around the corner. Gaffer Gaines had managed to assemble a bare eleven, with debutant James Halford going straight into the engine room alongside Ali Challans and Simon Lucas.
There was also scepticism in the dressing room that some members of the squad had swerved this fixture after the humping Global took in the earlier meeting between the two sides back in February. One man who hadn’t though was Rob Smith, who was hoping for a happy reunion with his new best friend from the previous encounter.
This wasn’t the same Tring side by any means though, and with a several clearly higher level players missing didn’t seem anywhere near as intimidating as the side who the whites had faced a couple of months beforehand. Despite their lack of options from the bench (and linesman), Global’s hastily assembled eleven were ready to give it a go and see if they could unearth a somewhat surprise result.
The game kicked off, and from the outset it was a fairly open contest. Despite their lowly league position, Global had started well and were looking threatening going forward. Tring also carried a decent attacking threat even without Rob’s bestie, and the new look backline had to be on their toes to deal with some early pressure.
Nonetheless, the home side’s efforts were not being helped by some ’flaky’ refereeing. It certainly seemed that there was an element of double standards at play, as the ref let one of the most blatant handballs you’ll ever see from a Tring player go. Alongside this, Global were being pulled up seemingly on the strength of the appeal from the visitors’, whilst any hefty challenge from a red shirted individual was allowed to pass. And they wonder why officiating gets such a kicking all the time.
In spite of the poor display from the man in black, Global were more than holding their own. Chances were fairly limited at both ends, with a couple of Tring sighters from distance not troubling Rory MacDonald in the home side’s goal, and one Dexter Simpson effort blocked at close range.
And the lack of clear cut opportunities was a theme which carried on through until the interval, with the game evenly balanced and goalless at half-time.
Half-time: Global 0 – 0 Tring Athletic ‘B’
The message from Gaffer Gaines as the break was simple, keep battling and while the score line remains level we can kick on and win this.
For once the aforementioned message seemed to sink in as Global started the second half very much as they had finished the first – playing some good football and opening the pitch up, which was allowing Simpson and Jimmy Hounslow to get at Tring’s dodgy full backs.
However the chances weren’t coming thick and fast for Global and this allowed Tring to re-establish themselves in the match as time drew on. MacDonald had to be alert to make one stop from close range, and then impressively claimed a corner as the visitors’ started to turn the screw.
The home side’s best chance of the match arrived midway through the half as Chris Palmer and Simpson linked up impressively to spring the Tring offside trap. Simpson was denied by the Tring ‘keeper’s legs as he got his effort away, despite the over exuberant flag waving of the Tring linesman. When challenged on his incorrect flagging, the lino mistakenly replied with ‘I’m a qualified official’. This promptly got him a load of deserved stick. And rightly so.
As the half wore on, and without any reinforcements on the bench, Tring were gaining the upper hand as Global’s tired legs started to toil. Wave after wave of attack was starting to come at the home side’s defence, with Rich Landry impressively leading the defensive effort, especially amazing as not one hair slipped out of place as he did so. However, it was now backs to the wall, with every man (even Palmer) mucking in for the defensive cause.
The thou shalt not pass effort was working, and it looked like it might grab Global a well-deserved point. Smith and Gaines were doing a great job at the heart of the defence, with Lucas and Challans digging in in front of them.
But with just moments left, Global’s impressive rear guard effort finally succumbed to the relentless pressure from the visitors’. Tring won a corner, which was delivered into the home side’s box. They failed to clear their lines and a Tring player was on hand to bundle the ball home. Tring celebrated somewhat unnecessarily, including one chavvy c*nt sticking his fingers up right in the face of Halford like a complete bellend. 0-1.
Unfortunately there was just nothing left in the Global tank to mount a late push for an equaliser as Tring collected the vital three points. The result was tough on Global, who battled all afternoon, and were undone by a late sucker punch and some seriously flaky refereeing.
Full-time: Global 0 – 1 Tring Athletic ‘B’
Man-of-the-match: Rich Landry
Team: GK: Rory MacDonald, RB: Rich Landry, LB: Carl Fazekas, CB: Ben Gaines, CB: Rob Smith, CM: Simon Lucas (capt), CM: Ali Challans, CM: James Halford, LM: Dexter Simpson, RM: James Hounslow, CF: Chris Palmer