Ware 3 North Greenford United 4
Ware can't sustain their come back.
A game that had been turned on its head was flipped over again quicker than a pancake on Shrove Tuesday as North Greenford scored twice in added time to steal a victory from under Ware's noses.
The visitors arrived having gained only two league wins all season but, under new management, started with an upbeat attitude as they fought for every ball and closed Ware down whenever they advanced up field.
The writing was on the wall early on when Ware conceded a corner on their right. Three North Greenford players surrounded 'keeper Tom Coulton in a ploy that suggested there was a plan in play as indeed there was, the Ware defence being wrong footed as the ball came to Ruddock Yala whose glancing header found the net.
It took a while for Ware to build a response. With Rod Young starting to be brought into the game Ware at last looked dangerous with Murat Karagul just denied at the near post on 13 minutes. Even so it was North Greenford who struck again with a fast break away down their left which was finished off by Matt Riggs to make it 2-0 three minutes later.
The visitors continued to unsettle Ware with their positive approach and corners in particular found the home side looking vulnerable with the cross bar being rattled on one occasion.
As the half progressed however Ware carved out more chances. Five minutes short of the break good work from Karagul and Young ended with the latter's shot somehow being blocked at point blank range and three minutes later Karagul saw his shot from close range pushed wide by David Moran in the visiting goal.
The second half started with Josh Oyibo replacing Jack Mace in midfield. Whether it was that, the pressing need to inject a new attitude or the swirling wind now being more in their favour but Ware started to control proceedings. It still seemed a big ask and when one attack ended with the ball bouncing harmlessly off the North Greenford bar for a goal kick hope on the terraces seemed to ebb away. Not on the field of play however where Oyibo was definitely having an effect.
Ware continued to dominate play with Karl Stevenson, on at half time and making his debut after signing from Wingate & Finchley, showing an ability to take on the visiting defence. It was he who sparked the revival on the hour, drifting in from the right to pick up a loose ball he drove it low beyond Moran into the bottom corner of the net.
Now the terraces could believe and, breakaways aside, Ware began to keep play in the visitors' half. Even so time was beginning to run out before the next goal came. Kieran Bishop's shot was too hot to handle for Moran and he spilled it into the path of the oncoming Stevenson. The 'keeper was back on his feet to parry away the follow-up shot but only to Karagul whose stooping header brought the equaliser.
Five minutes later Ware had the lead as Bishop played the ball back for George Beattie, also playing his first game since signing from Boreham Wood, to hammer low and off Moran's scrambling dive once more into the bottom corner of the goal.
After this there appeared only one possible outcome and it might have been even better but for Bishop firing over the bar from inside the six yard area and later hesitating a moment too long to exploit an opening when expecting the referee's whistle for an imagined offence.
It was to prove costly in added time as first Aaron McLeish scored from close range after a cross was drilled through the penalty area from Ware's right and then, minutes later, Riggs sealed the points when the home defence seemed unable to clear the ball despite several opportunities.
So the pancake landed the wrong side up with enough lemon juice squeezed over it to leave a sharp taste on the Ware palate.
Ware: Tom Coulton, Paul Cooper, Alaa Oujdi, Jack Mace (Josh Oyibo 46mins), Ben Crilley, David Longe-King, Rod Young, George Beattie, Kieran Bishop, Harley Haag (Karl Stevenson 46mins), Murat Karagul. Unused subs: Jack Fowler, Joe Simmonds, Olumide Quadri.