Saturday 1st April 2017 ko 15.00
Spartan South Midlands League Division Two
TRING TOWN AFC 1 (Eaton 72)
UNITE MK 3 (Daubney 5 Parker 22 Ricci 67)
I have history in this part of West Hertfordshire, I used to be an Insurance Man for a now-defunct firm here in the late ’90’s, and I soon got used to the town’s quirks, such as the station that’s nearer to Aldbury than Tring itself, and the little cafe that had the chutzpar to call itself “Tringfellows!” The tea and cakes were excellent, but the showgirls rather lacking!
I used to park my car in Miswell Lane, and whilst walking along collecting lunar monthly premiums I’d pass the entrance to the park and glance at the sign for “Tring Athletic” with the blackboard bit with who they’d be playing next. Me being me I made a mental note to go and watch them, and me being me, I never did get round to it.
I did get to Pendley Manor, in Cow Lane and watched Isthmian League Tring Town, that ground was and is altogether more established with floodlights and a stand, but a fire at Cow Lane destroyed the stand and eventually bankrupted Tring Town in 2003.
Spartan South Midlands Leaguers Tring Athletic seized the opportunity and moved into Cow Lane (although it was announced as a merger). They replaced the stand and refitted the clubhouse, and played the occasional youth game at Miswell Lane until repeated arson attacks on the clubhouse forced them out completely.
It seemed that Tring’s two non-league club set up was being maintained by Icknield Way- based Tring Corinthians who graduated from the Aylesbury & District League entering the SSML Division Two in 2005. They remain there, stymied from further progress by being based at a ground with probably the narrowest footprint possible.
I’d long since given up on being able to watch a game at Miswell Lane, so seeing Tring Town, following the Tring Corinthians route out of the Aylesbury League route was a pleasant surprise. I assumed the Tring Town name is revival of the old name- it isn’t, the AFC is for Amateur Football club, nor is the new club an offshoot of either Athletic or Corinthians; the club is there to make use of an otherwise redundant facility.
And there was no lack of vibrancy about the place either. I have to say I liked both the club and the place. The clubhouse is very much the product of having to be extensively repaired twice, but there’s a bar, a pool table and all the essentials of life, perhaps the most pertinent comment was that you really wouldn’t have realised that Tring Town are rock bottom of the league.
Unite MK used to be the revival of Wolverton Town, but when last year they lost the use of Greenleys, they moved to the Irish Centre, in Bletchley currently home to another club who’ve led a nomadic existance- Buckingham Town, changing names in the process.
They won this one straightforwardly enough despite using only 11 players, but I suspect that for their hosts this season is all about finding their feet in intermediate football. I wish them well.