Ware 2 Tooting & Mitcham United 2
By Stephen King
Third home draw on the trot as Ware fail to make the most of their chances.
Ware continued where they left off at Hayes & Yeading last week with a dominating first half performance that saw them cut open the visiting defence time after time. Yet somehow they went in 2-1 down at the break after conceding twice in the final five minutes of the half.
Until then it had perhaps been Ware's best performance of the season with Dave Cowley and Albert Adu orchestrating some slick passing movements that constantly exposed United. The Ware midfielders seemed to have perfected a good understanding as they anticipated each others intentions and movements.
What they produced was a litany of chances starting as early as the second minute after Cowley's free kick into the box ended with the ball coming back to Ben Hart whose snap shot went over the bar. Just a minute later Adu was wide with another effort.
And so it continued with an Adu cross to Cowley who played in Brandon Adams with a deft flick before the number nine lobbed the keeper but also the cross bar. Adams then turned an Adu cross just wide and into the side netting before another Adu ball ended with Adams drawing a save out of Morgan Campbell at the foot of his left hand post.
Next a fierce Cowley shot was parried over the bar by Morgan with Adu heading just over from the resultant corner. Cowley then had the ball in the net but an offside flag had already alerted him to the fact that it wouldn't count.
All this and more was in the first twenty minutes and the longer things went on the more it appeared that Ware were just not going to score. But midway through the half they made the break through. A long cross field pass from Adu reached Cowley moving into the penalty area and his volley gave Campbell no chance as it found the net under his diving body.
Ware continued to look for another goal but with five minutes to the break Louis Rose pushed United's Daryl Coleman in the back as he pursued him away from any danger. Some felt the number ten had gone down too easily but Rose seemed to clearly put two hands into his back.
Coleman got up to take the kick himself which he delivered at head height into the Ware area. There was an unmarked Leon Lalor-Dell to steer the ball past a wrong footed Calum Kitscha for the equaliser.
It was the start of an interesting five minutes for the diminutive Lalor-Dell. After a fierce tackle on Williams Danquah he received a yellow but he shrugged that off just a minute later when Coleman fired a long clearance into his path on the right. With Ware struggling to get back he cut in and fired the ball across the face of Kitscha's goal and into the net off the far post.
Ware were slower off the mark after the break and for a while United had the initiative but ten minutes in Campbell was injured as he and his defence somehow managed to deny Adams an equaliser in a goal mouth scramble.
At the other end Antonio Simeone was now denied by an offside decision and this escape may have caused Ware to make their only substitution of the game. Hart, who had given width to Ware's attacks, was surprisingly removed in favour of Tommy Wade.
The logic of the move escaped Hart as well and he showed his annoyance when he saw the electronic board being prepared. For a while he seemed justified as Ware went flat and United took control of the game but within five minutes Wade had made the point for his manager. Adams, now playing wide, laid the ball into the burley striker who held off his marker before lashing the ball beyond Campbell's grasp and into the top of the net. It was his first goal for the club.
Chances to claim all three points came and went, most notably when a perfect piece of deception by Cowley allowed him to get free of his marker and centre to Wade who almost converted. Two minutes later another chance fell to him but his header was somehow deflected by a defender and grabbed by Campbell under the cross bar.
If Ware feel disappointed at the apparent loss of two points it is fair to point out that the visitors' front runners were always willing to use their speed to get back and frustrate Ware's attacking options throughout the game. In addition midfielder Coleman looked a wise head, making both goals and easing pressure on his defence with accurate passes to those hard running front men.
For Ware, in another good team performance, it was Coleman's opposite number Albert Adu who stood out for his never-say-die attitude, his constant ability to win headers against taller players and his talent to see and execute a well judged pass.
Ware: Calum Kitscha, Harry Norman, Williams Danquah, Tom Bruno, Louis Rose, Gareth Madden, Ben Hart (Tommy Wade 63mins), Leigh Rose, Brandon Adams, Albert Adu, Dave Cowley. Unused subs: Jordon Watson, Jack Daveney, Bradley Fraser, Charlie Yexley.