Ware U15 4 Barton Rovers 3
Ware blow title race wide open
2017 first game saw Ware hosting Barton Rovers, top of the league with a 100% record.Last years fixture saw Barton win 2-0 against an injury ravaged Ware, and the home team were keen to put that reversal right with a fully fit squad.
The start was a little inauspicious, an early corner appeared to have been well met by Ware's defence however the volleyed clearance rebounded of Joe Chard into the net to give the visitors an early bonus.
It took just 5 minutes for Ware to settle and impose their game. A corner won, was well delivered by Tom Hayden to the near post to be met with an excellent volleyed finish by Thomas Weald.Within 2 minutes Ware mounted another attack, a long diagonal from Ollie Luck releasing Thomas Weald down the left flank, his cross met firmly by James Sacre but well defended by the centre half who's challenge saw the ball fly high in the sky, Ollie Luck had continued his run and with the momentum out jumped all to nod Ware ahead.
Ware were now dictating the game and it was no surprise to see the lead extended on 20 minutes, a Ware attack was cleared from Barton's penalty area to the half way line, Alfie Campbells strong challenge saw the ball fizz straight back to Ollie Luck on the edge of the box and he finished in some style to put the home team 3-1 up.
The first surprise of the half was that Ware did not manage to extend their lead. The second was when Barton scored a second, 2 minutes from half time, a speculative cross that somehow dropped into the far corner of the net. 3-2 at half time really did not reflect Ware's superiority.
The second half saw Barton impose themselves on the game for the first 15 minutes as Ware lost their shape with Tom Hayden off the pitch with a nasty gash on the knee. Playing too deep the initiative was handed to the visitors and it took solid defending from Lennox Agyemang, Luca Dowdell and Nathan Tree with Alfie Campbell to thwart the attacks.
By now the physical side of the game had taken it's toll, Joe Chard and Rodney Clements both out of the game with ankle and head injuries, the positive was the return of Archie Wolf, his first appearance since breaking his leg against the visitors last year and also the return of Tom Hayden that allowed Ollie Luck to resume his role as centre forward. This shifted the game further up the pitch and released the pressure on Ware's defence.
It was again a surprise therefore when Barton equalised with 10 minutes left from a corner that was not cleared. A real test of character for the boys, and they passed with flying colours. Pressing Barton back with waves of attacks. A free kick was delivered from just inside the Barton half by Alfie Campbell and Ollie Luck made some 20 yards to power the ball past the Barton keeper. 5 minutes to go and Ware were unlucky not to extend their lead, 2 replica free kicks saw Ollie Luck close to notching 4 goals.
As it was 4-3 was the final score and a well deserved win for Ware. The rest of the league will be delighted with this result and the title is up for grabs with 4 teams all within reach of the summit. Fantastic start to the year.
MOTM Ollie Luck- simply outstanding today-hat trick and amazing work rate.