Waltham Abbey 1 Ware 3
Ware's colourful display as they reach 4,900 first team games since 1892.
For some reason Ware took the field in their change strip though, in light of the current internet frenzy over a dress colour, perhaps they really were playing in blue rather than the gold and white that it appeared to be. However it wasn't their colours that confused the opposition but the wind.
In the first half Waltham Abbey had the strong wind at their backs and persisted in lofting long balls into the Ware half. These always outran the home forwards and Tom Coulton in Ware's goal had plenty of goal kicking experience as a result.
Ware on the other hand contrived to keep the ball low and pass their way forward. This paid off in the seventh minute when Anthony Thomas was on the end of a good move, then pulled away from his defender and chipped the advancing Jayden Purdue to put Ware ahead.
It was 2-0 after twenty minutes. Charlie Ledula opted to run at the home defence, turned inside and across the penalty area before being felled by a barge a foot or two inside the box. On another day it might just have been ignored but after a moment's thought referee Cook pointed to the spot and Thomas stepped up to double his and the team's total with a fierce drive into the top corner.
That was not the last time that the spotlight fell on Mr Cook for with about ten minutes of the half remaining his foot was clipped by a passing Abbey player and he went down with a twisted ankle. There was a lengthy delay as first it seemed that Abbey wouldn't play on but eventually the game restarted with assistant Kikulwe taking over in the middle and Ware's assistant manager Tolga Huseyin running the line.
The time out ought to have concentrated Abbey minds on the wind factor but instead they failed to allow for it deep into the lengthy added time. This time it was the Blues who lofted a high ball forward but it hung in the wind leaving Purdue's charge out of goal to clear it a forlorn hope. Ledula got to it marginally sooner, kept his cool to control the ball and take it past the keeper before stroking it home from distance.
Abbey made all three substitutions at the start of the second half in an attempt to liven up their approach and put Ware under pressure. It appeared to be working as play was much more in front of the Ware goal than in the first period but the visitors weathered the storm and with 25 minutes to go the home side looked to have spent themselves.
Ware were beginning to play composed football again and created a number of half chances but it was Abbey who had the last say. Tom Bruno rose to head a consolation for the home side after a free kick was caught in the wind. It caused a degree of confusion in a defence that had otherwise been well marshalled throughout by Kieron Street and Murat Karagul who both played well in central defence.
But if you want a man of the match look no further than Finbarr Robins who appears to have found his feet in midfield and did an impressive job throughout the game closing down the opposition and probing forward.
Ware: Tom Coulton, Arturs Reinis, Alaa Oujdi, Ryan Hervel, Kieron Street, Murat Karagul, Charlie Ledula, Josh Oyibo (Tyler Christian-Law 61 mins), Anthony Thomas (Sean Johnson 61 mins), Finbarr Robins, Rheo Josephs (Ryan Imbert 71 mins). Unsed sub Jack Fowler.