Lacklustre City shown no charity by Tring
PUBLISHED: 14:11 01 May 2008 | UPDATED: 21:19 26 October 2009
Herts Charity Shield Final WGC 0 Tring Athletic 1 John Hutchinson reports from the County Ground, Letchworth WGC suffered heartbreak in the Herts Charity Shield on a rain-swept night at the County Ground in Letchworth. The Citizens went down 1-0 to a res
Herts Charity Shield Final
WGC 0 Tring Athletic 1
John Hutchinson reports from the County Ground, Letchworth
WGC suffered heartbreak in the Herts Charity Shield on a rain-swept night at the County Ground in Letchworth.
The Citizens went down 1-0 to a resilient Tring Athletic side in the final.
With the match delayed by 15 minutes due to a hold up on the A1(M), the conditions were far from ideal and the final was not the footballing spectacle it should have been.
Yet Tring will be delighted with their win after capitalising on a poor second-half display from the Citizens.
After the game, caretaker manager Lewis, who revealed he will not be staying on at the club next season, said: "Overall it was a very poor performance tonight.
"I thought first half we should have taken the lead, but as for the second 45, we simply didn't show up."
Despite the worsening weather conditions, the Herns Lane side played some good football in the first 15 minutes, with Dan Griggs and Jason Williams playing some neat touches in the middle.
Striker Craig Tomkins had a great opportunity to put City one up only six minutes in.
A ball over the top from captain Nathan Dawes beat the Tring defence and found its way to Tomkins, with only the goalkeeper between him and the goal.
But the 19-year-old took his eye off the ball and the full back nipped in just in time to hook clear and away from danger.
Tring were failing to take a hold of the game early on, and will have been disappointed with many loose passes and mistimed tackles.
On 17 minutes, Athletic were denied spectacularly by Citizens custodian and former Tring Town keeper Simon Bartley.
A turn and shot by Mark Burfoot was acrobatically parried by the City stopper, with the ball destined for the top corner, as the club from the Grass Roots Stadium began to rely on the counter-attack.
WGC forward Howard Hall was only inches away from getting his foot on the end of a Tomkins cross in the 29th minute, with Tring goalkeeper Sam Styles out of position.
As the sides went in at the break, the Citizens looked the most likely to break the deadlock, with their players seemingly more confident and assured on the ball.
But that all changed in the second half, with City manager Lewis stating that "it was as if the side were still in the changing room" when they conceded only three minutes in.
With Adam Purcell coming on for Onur Ahmet at the interval, a corner from David Whicker was met by Mark Burfoot.
His thundering header gave Bartley no chance in the WGC goal for 1-0.
For the rest of the game, Tring looked more dangerous on the attack, with City a shadow of the side that had played so effectively in the first 45.
Such was the level of performance in the second half, Lewis surprisingly brought on reserve keeper Tim Trebes up front for the last 15 minutes.
Trebes replaced Howard Hall, with Lewis hoping to use Trebes' aerial ability.
But the Herns Lane side failed to create any clear-cut chances in a drab second half, with Tring looking more likely to extend their lead.
As the referee blew for full time, WGC will have been disappointed with their lacklustre and slow tempo performance towards the end of the game.
As Tring club captain David Foskett collected the Shield, a few of the City players will have perhaps reflected that with a little more effort and endeavour, the game could have had a different outcome.
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