Ware 0 AFC Hornchurch 4
Spirited display just not enough against a strong Hornchurch side that dominated possession.
Ware's woes continued as a second half performance that initially looked capable of salvaging some pride if not a point deteriorated such that the visitors might well have won by a bigger margin than they did.
The first half had seen Hornchurch dominate for much of the time. As early as the 4th minute a well worked free kick had ended with Tom Coulton tipping a close range header from Nathan Cooper over the bar. It was a portent of what was to come as the visitors, strong and skilful, were finding time and space to work the ball into dangerous areas.
Initially Ware responded well and had a reasonable share of the game. Harrison Georgiou, signed from Brentwood, seemed to be having a good debut as he twisted and turned, and fought for every ball. But his slight build soon told against him as he was out muscled by the visiting defence.
That left only Yannick Kamanan as the focus of Ware attacks but such long balls as reached him found him isolated and surrounded leaving little opportunity to lay off any telling balls.
The tide of play began to be a surge on the quarter hour as Hornchurch started to apply real pressure. This paid off after 17 minutes in the shape of a corner on Ware's left and Elliot Styles rose to head home powerfully.
Having gained their reward the visitors eased off but they had the measure of Ware in attack and were able to exploit their dominance as and when they chose. That they didn't add to their tally before half time was partly due to wayward finishing and Coulton in the Ware goal.
However, just as Ware made mistakes in attack as the Hornchurch defence gave them little chance to pick out their man for a pass so Ware's back four looked to have a degree of organisation missing in recent games and that played its part in keeping the visiting forwards at bay.
Ware built on this after the break by playing a high back line and pressing their opponents at every opportunity. It looked for a while as though this would pay dividends by keeping the game mostly in the visitors' half and increasing the opportunities for an equaliser.
Even so Hornchurch were still looking solid at the back and a frustrated Kamanan was withdrawn as the hour mark approached. His replacement was defender Josh Dobson which allowed Murat Karagul to take his turn up front to exploit such openings that presented themselves.
If that was the aim it was negated within a minute as Hornchurch were awarded a free kick on the D close to where it met the penalty area to the left of Ware's goal. George Purcell drove the ball through the defensive wall and beyond Coulton's dive to double his side's lead and pretty much end Ware's hopes of a point.
Ware did have one chance to get back into the game when Lee Flynn's free kick from near the corner flag was headed onto the Hornchurch cross bar by Karagul. After that however things began to deteriorate from Ware's point of view. A 70th minute defensive slip left Coulton to come out for a back pass he was never going to reach in time. Leon McKenzie beat him to it and hit the ball past the keeper for 3-0.
Ten minutes later it looked easier for Purcell to score than to spend time turning this way and that under the attention of Dobson but in the end Junior Appiah stepped in to rob him of the chance at the expense of a penalty. Purcell thumped it home for his second of the game.
In added time Alaa Oujdi did well on the right before laying the ball back to Karagul but the number six fired over. So for the third time in a row Ware failed to score against Hornchurch, and that with a fourth meeting due in ten days time.
Ware: Tom Coulton, Junior Appiah, Lee Flynn, Harry Larner (Ahmed Mohammed 77mins), Gareth Madden, Murat Karagul, Marcus Milner, Alaa Oujdi, Yannick Kamanan (Josh Dobson 59mins), Leon Antoine, Harrison Georgiou (Rheo Josephs 51mins). Unused subs: Prince Madu, Jahvanne Wilson.