Aylesbury 6 Ware 0
Supporters gather in expectation but Ware are just not good enough on the day.
It was always understood that this could be a tough encounter. Maybe Ware might have to settle for a draw or accept a close fought single goal defeat. But a 6-0 reverse in which Ware's defending was often naïve and inept coupled with an inability to pierce the home defence more than a few times suggests there is a lot of work to be done if Ware are to recover their hopes for a successful season.
Even without Liam Griffin and Corey Davidson Ware looked to have a strong line up and the day started well enough as they held a fast moving Aylesbury side and made their own openings. Twice in the first quarter of an hour Ware had chances to take the lead but were closed down quickly by a defence well marshalled by skipper Danny Murphy.
On the second occasion however James Weatherill, the home keeper, cleared the ball upfield to Aston Goss whose pass to Gareth Price was converted into the opening goal from close range. Ware's defence, not for the only time in the match, had been opened up by a quick and simple move.
The game unravelled after that as Aylesbury sensed blood and started to play in a manner reminiscent of Ware's own performances of two seasons before. They chased every ball, closed their opponents down and adapted better to the greasy playing surface.
Such was the case after 22 minutes when good inter pay by the home side left Ware's defenders floundering and gave Lamar Simpson a chance from outside the area. He took it to steer the ball just over Glenn Williamson's reach and just under the bar.
Four minutes later it was 3-0 after a long clearance fell to Ben Stevens who slipped the ball past Ben Crilley and was quick enough to reclaim it near the goal line. His pass across the penalty area reached James Dobson who scored from a difficult angle.
The game seemed to be up for Ware but not the agony. A free kick struck Williamson's right hand post and flew across the face of the goal before being cleared and later the keeper had to make a last ditch save at the feet of an oncoming Goss.
Half time came not a moment too soon but whatever was said in the dressing room made little difference. If Ware had more of the game in the second period there was the suspicion that it was as much to do with the home side taking their foot off the gas as with Ware upping their game.
Kem Kemal rang the changes early in the second half with Alaa Oujdi coming on to allow Murat Karagul to take a more forward role. It had some effect but Ware were just second best on the day as the removal of Kieran Bishop and Ryan Maxwell, usually two of their more influential players, might suggest.
Deniz Mehmet, making his first appearance since scoring at Maldon in the final game of the 2013/4 season, was one of the replacements but had little opportunity to impress as Ware struggled to get something out of the game.
But even then the home side added three more goals in the final twenty minutes as Ware remained vulnerable at the back. Rod Young finally got in Ware's first shot on target of the second half but the game had long since drifted away from the visitors under a fitting backdrop of grey clouds and heavy showers.
Ware: Glenn Williamson, Paul Cooper, Murat Karagul, Ryan Maxwell (James Manlove 71mins), Ben Crilley, Jack Fowler, Khale Dacosta, Finbarr Robins, Kieran Bishop (Deniz Mehmet 56mins), Joshua Oyibo (Alaa Oujdi 49mins), Rod Young. Unused Sub: Jack Smith.