Kings Langley 4 Ware 2
Ware warm up for early goal but come off second best in the end.
Ware got off to the best possible start that their new manager could have wished for when debutant Elliot Bailey scored in the first minute. The home side lost the ball from the kick off and it was played wide to the right for Rod Young to take down the wing and put in an accurate cross for the new man to chest home.
It seemed too good to be true and in the event it was as Kings Langley netted twice in last ten minutes of the game to secure a victory after twice being behind. What made the difference ultimately was Langley's season-long confidence in their own style of play compared with Ware's inevitably tentative approach to Ken Charlery's new demands.
Ware's starting line up featured four new names, not as many as might have been thought given the number of signings reported in the press, but enough to suggest that some bedding in was required. Of the four the most unexpected was Joe Simmonds in goal, whilst two new keepers were reported he was not one of them so there is clearly still some juggling going on behind the scenes.
Simmonds comes to Ware from Billericay and whilst he made several brave stops on the ground he is not the tallest of men and was left exposed with Kings Langley's first equaliser on 33 minutes, as captain Stuart Deaton headed home from a corner. Simmonds might have expected better cover from a defence that included the tall Hamilton Bunga, a new signing from St Albans who seemed to have trouble settling in at Step 4.
But the highlight of Ware's performance was Jimmy Hartley, whose skilful wing play was a constant threat. After a first half in which the home side's pacey forwards had seemed to have the beating of the Ware defence the visitors started the second period on top. On 50 minutes Hartley once again worked his way through the home defence before drilling a shot into the Langley goal.
Suddenly Ware looked comfortable and in control but it wasn't to last as Langley's Mitchell Weiss stamped his presence on the game. Within five minutes the home side broke away and Weiss was there to outpace Alaa Oujdi and fire in a low shot that gave Simmonds little chance.
The game continued to flow from end to end but Ware needed a last ditch clearance from Ben Crilley to stay in with a chance of a point. That disappeared when a long throw from the left found Weiss free in the penalty area on 84 minutes. He turned and fired an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net for a fine goal.
Ware's disappointment was sealed when Weiss completed his hat trick with a minute of normal time to go.
Ware: Joe Simmonds, Paul Cooper, Alaa Oujdi, Ryan Maxwell, Ben Crilley, Hamilton Bunga, Rod Young, Liam Griffin (Luke Kanjor 80mins), Murat Karagul (Corey Davidson 66mins), Jimmy Hartley. Unused subs: Harley Haag, Charlie Kuehn, Jack Fowler.