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1st Team - Match centre

Cray Wanderers
Ware
Full time
A Adu (54'), F Robins (73' Sent Off)
Sun 14 Dec 15:00 - The Ryman Football League - Ryman North Attendance 111

Points mean prizes but not for these two teams.

A 1-1 draw at Cray Wanderers keeps Ware in the chasing pack but they had hoped for more whilst Cray stay second from bottom.

Both teams needed a win from this match, Cray to ease their position in the relegation battle and Ware to climb into the play-off places. By the final whistle neither could feel satisfied with the result, perhaps the importance of the game weighing too heavily on them.

In an end to end first half Ware made lots of headway with their passing game but were undone by an over reliance on high balls into the penalty area which were meat and drink to the home defence. When they opted for a less aerial approach the final ball was often over hit or not at the right angle, leaving the intended recipient chasing a lost cause. Nor did the attackers help that cause as they were too often caught offside.

Cray's approach may have been less subtle but it was enough to cause Ware's defence problems at times. After a couple of scares it was a high ball up front that fell to Laurent Hamici who flicked it neatly with the outside of his boot past Rhys Madden for the lead with little more than five minutes of the half remaining.

It must have been quite a talk in the half-time dressing room as Ware came out clearly intent on carrying the game to the home side. They lay siege to the Cray goal but could find no way through until Albert Adu's shot, taking a slight deflection, found the net on 54 minutes.

A Ware win now looked a distinct possibility until a mistimed tackle saw Finbarr Robins red-carded. Even so the Blues continued to probe the Cray defence and a number of chances came and went, and with ten minutes to go Kieran Bishop (who was being watched by AFC Hornchurch) was through on goal but as two defenders closed on him the ball hit a divot, bobbled out of control and was cleared.

Supporters at least started to settle for a draw but in added time a second mistimed tackle saw Gareth Madden penalised in the Ware area. It would be good to say that his brother redeemed him with a great save from the spot kick but in fact it was poorly taken and the 'keeper's surprise was probably the reason why he could only parry a shot straight at him. Luckily the rebound was blasted high over the bar.

Ware named three newcomers in their squad. Charlie Yexley and Ayodeji Olukoga on loan from Dagenham & Redbridge, and former Arsenal under-21 Samir Bihoutine. Yexley started the game and, considering his unfamiliarity with his team mates settled well into the role of attacking full back. Olukoga looked useful after his introduction whilst Bihoutine had little time to show his skills.

Ware: Rhys Madden, Charlie Yexley (Ryan Wade 87 mins), Alaa Oujdi (Samir Bihoutine 82 mins), Albert Adu, Ajet Shehu, Gareth Madden, Murat Karagul, Ryan Hervel (Ayodeji Olukoga 57 mins), Kieran Bishop, Finbarr Robins, Khale Dacosta. Unused subs Jack Fowler and Jermaine Osei.

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Albert Adu

Player of the Match

Albert Adu

Key moments

54:00
Goal Albert Adu scores for Ware
73:00
Red Card Finbarr Robins is sent off for Ware
Replay game

As it happened

  • Cray Wanderers
  • Ware
  • 0
  • Kieran Bishop Yellow Card 45:00'
  • Khale Dacosta Yellow Card 48:00'
  • Albert Adu Goal 54:00'
  • Alaa Oujdi Assist 54:00'
  • Ayo Olukoga Sub On 57:00'
  • Ryan Hervel Sub Off 57:00'
  • Alaa Oujdi Yellow Card 67:00'
  • Finbarr Robins Red Card 73:00'
  • Samir Bihmoutine Sub On 82:00'
  • Alaa Oujdi Sub Off 82:00'
  • Charlie Yexley Yellow Card 87:00'
  • Ryan Wade Sub On 87:00'
  • Charlie Yexley Sub Off 87:00'

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
8. Wroxham 46 79
9. Aveley 46 70
10. Ware 46 64
11. Soham Town Rangers 46 63
12. Heybridge Swifts 46 62
13. Thamesmead Town 46 58
14. Tilbury 46 58

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