Ware 1 St Ives Town 1
Point rescued as Ware purge the memory of Saturday's collapse.
After Saturday's defeat it was imperative for Ware to bounce back with a good performance against 3rd placed St Ives Town. To achieve this Kem Kemal made a minimum of changes, the return of Jack Smith between the posts suggesting that Glenn Williamson was the fall guy.
The other major change was the introduction of Liam Griffin who had been absent at Aylesbury. His calmness and strength in midfield, especially during the first half, seemed the difference between this and Saturday's performance.
In the circumstances Ware got off to the worst possible start when, after ten minutes, Jack Fowler could only glance a ball backwards off his head and over the advancing Smith into his own net. Did the keeper call? It wasn't clear. But whatever culpability Fowler had he made up for just after the half hour mark when he was in the way of a point blank shot that the visitors seemed destined to score from.
That was, however, their only shot on target during a half in which Ware grew in confidence. In this time play seemed always to be on the Ware left as Khale Dacosta was fed with numerous passes and then took on the St Ives defence which funnelled back effectively to flood the penalty area.
This became the theme of the first half with the visitors denying Ware by sheer weight of numbers and an efficient offside trap but breaking fast and dangerously when they had the opportunity.
Ware's best chance came when a shot from Griffin hit the post and spun across the six yard box with home players straining without success to get a telling touch on the ball. It all left Ware disappointed at the break, a goal down when overall they might have been a goal up.
The second half started with St Ives applying pressure but Ware came back into the picture with DaCosta once again the focus of much of the activity, albeit this time on the right wing. Given this, it was ironic that he had perhaps Ware's best chance of the half but blasted over the bar from close to the penalty spot when it looked easier to score.
And that sums up the second period as Ware, for all their striving, couldn't make enough openings and in truth neither keeper had to make any serious saves apart from when Smith palmed away a fierce shot only to find that it was from an offside position. In what was nevertheless a thoroughly entertaining advert for the non-league game it began to look as though Ware would have to accept an honourable if undeserved defeat but they were not going to be denied.
A ball in from the right in the 90th minute was met by the usual crowd of defenders but Murat Karagul was in between two St Ives men and managed to head the ball on to Kieran Bishop. The striker was also under close arrest but swivelled and shot from short range into the bottom corner of the net to the great relief of all in blue.
A performance that was light years away from Saturday's weak surrender was marred at the end when Josh Oyibo had to be taken off with an injury. It is not clear at the moment if he will be fit for Saturday's encounter at Hanwell.
Ware: Jack Smith, Paul Cooper, Alaa Oujdi, Ryan Maxwell (Murat Karagul 54mins), Ben Crilley, Jack Fowler (Finbarr Robins 65mins), Khale Dacosta, Liam Griffin, Kieran Bishop, Josh Oyibo (Mickey Clark 90+mins), Rod Young. Unused subs: Luke Kujor, Cameron Currie.