Soham Town Rangers 2 Ware 3
Ware maintain unbeaten record at Soham to finally banish relegation worries.
There are benefits to keeping a settled side and John Dreyer seems to be very keen on doing so. Saturday's game at Sudbury saw Ware record a 3-1 win without bringing on any substitutes. Keeping the starting line up on for 90 minutes can only add to building a team ethic.
The drawback of that approach in the modern game is that as many as five squad members sit on the bench twiddling their thumbs for 90 minutes. Who could blame them for looking for their football elsewhere if it is a common occurrence? In those circumstances it was good to see the reaction from the substitutes on Saturday when Josh Oyibo's third goal on 89 minutes cemented the points against Sudbury.
Perhaps they knew they were going to get their chance at Soham where Ware started with five of Saturday's team on the sidelines and promotion to a place in the starting line up for Saturday's five substitutes, players who have made a total of just 25 starts in Dreyer's 19 matches as manager.
Worries that the team might be weakened by resting so many players proved unfounded but it took until the dying moments of the game for Ware to win it. Harley Haag, who scored a late winner at Witham earlier in the season, left it even later this time, outwitting two defenders to put the ball away.
It was Haag who opened the scoring after only nine minutes in a good opening period for Ware but as the half wore on the home side came more into contention. Just beyond the half hour they got their reward when a clumsy challenge in the penalty area gave Sam Mulready the chance to level from the spot.
Things got worse when a Soham pass took a deflection to leave Mulready clear to side foot past Harry Voss to give the home side a half time lead.
Jordon Watson had been denied a night off and had to continue his hard working role as the spearhead of the attack. His reward came just beyond the hour mark after a neat interchange with Haag enabled him to slide the ball home for an equaliser.
It looked as though it would stay that way especially after Jack Mochalski was sent off the home side on 82 minutes but that didn't take Haag's final contribution into account.
Meanwhile Dreyer opted not to use his substitutes again yet, just as on Saturday, there was great support from the unused players on the bench especially when the third goal went in. Team bonding seems to be going well.
This game could well have been the last league meeting between these two clubs for the foreseeable future. Romford's defeat at Witham means that they cannot overtake Ware who may now face being moved across to the Southern League as the FA reshuffle league constitutions for next season. If so Ware will miss their visits to Soham; their six league games there have brought five wins and one draw.
Ware: Harry Voss, Anthony Furlonge, Dominique Njoya, Ross Elsom, Damien Green, Louis Bowen, Ace'a Laurent, Leigh Rose, Jordon Watson, Harley Haag, Alaa Oujdi. Unused subs: Dave Cowley, Gareth Madden, Josh Oyibo, Marcus Milner, Charlie Yexley.