Chalfont St Peter 3 Ware 2
Late goals deny Ware again.
Apologies but there's little to say about this match as, amongst other things, I was elsewhere on the day and reliant on tweets. As a result this is more a story of a frustrated fan and the failings of the twitter feed from the game.
Suffice to say that we took an early lead through Kieran Bishop and, by all accounts, could have added to that before half time. As it was we did go further ahead when Kieran scored again in the second half and once more we seemingly missed chances to put the game to bed.
From the point of view of a twitter recipient all went well for the rest of the half but with the clock ticking down there was an ominous chirp from my phone. Another Ware goal or one for Chalfont?
Chalfont 1 Ware 2 it said! But with 88 minutes gone surely we could hang on for the three points. I was beginning to think that we had done so when a second chirp came on my phone. Was it a goal or the final whistle?
I checked only to be stunned by a tweet that said Chalfont had gone ahead 3-2. How was this possible?
Well the tweets were being redirected from the football web pages site which was being updated by the home club. They had apparently forgotten to record the fact that Chalfont had scored as early as the 67th minute and didn't log that goal until the end of the game when they scored a third.
It was a truly bitter pill to swallow and the lesson has to be to get to the game if at all possible. Waiting for tweets is always so nerve-racking even when they are correct let alone when you are at the mercy of a forgetful correspondent.
Landmarks in this game were Kieran Bishop making his 80th appearance and Murat Karagul his 125th whilst Olumide Quadri made his debut for the club from the substitutes' bench. Kieran's total of goals now stands at 15 in the league and 19 in all competitions this season.
In a repeat of the home defeat against Chalfont a former Ware player made a significant contribution to our defeat. This time it was Anthony Thomas who came on after an hour and with his team about to go 2-0 down. It all changed after that.
Ware: Tom Coulton, Paul Cooper, Alaa Oujdi, Ben Crilley, Jack Fowler, David Longe-King, Rod Young (Olumide Quadri 75mins), Josh Oyibo, Kieran Bishop, Elliot Bailey (George Beattie 75mins), Murat Karagul. Unused subs: Harley Haag, Jack Mace, Joe Simmonds.
If you prefer, this is how Chalfont saw the game:
"A brilliant and crucial win that kept Saints at the head of the pack going into the New Year also delivered a clear message to their rivals that Chalfont now have the edge to take this season's title race right to the finish. Goals by new signings Michael Murray and Adam Kirby in the final minutes hauled Saints back from imminent defeat against a Ware side that had looked good value for an unlikely win but had to endure the pain of last minute defeat for the second successive game.
The visitor's couldn't have dreamed of a better start agains the league leader. Some sloppy play gifted them possession in the opening minutes and Kieran Bishop was alert to beat a scrambling defence to put the visitors ahead.
Bishop and Rod Young went on to cause numerous problems for the Saints defence with their pace and movement. Michael Power-Simpson was again called on to make key saves to keep the scoreline in order as the visitors threatened to overwhelm their hosts. Remmel Clarke rose to the task and was outstanding again in defending the right flank, the source of many Ware attacks.
Saints tried to gain traction on the game but too often, despite much priomisingly approach play, they lacked the final ball to beat a well-drilled defence. Tony Mendy had some good touches but he was double-marked for much of the game, a mark of respect for his prowess this season. Adam Kirby headed over from a corner and twice couldn't make the most of shooting opportunities when he came forward for set pieces. The former Windsor captain looks to be a smart signing for the club, as does Michael Murray, signed from Northwood and making his debut, who will add bite and purpose in midfield and hopefully in front of goal when Mendy leaves for a few weeks in January.
A fast break from a Saints corner nearly saw Ware extend their lead early in the second half before Tony Mendy had his best chance of the day but couldn't get enough contact on a Remmel Clarke cross. Minutes later Kieran Bishop was on hand to drive his shot past Power-Simpson to double the lead for Ware and Saints looked to be in some bother.
Some astute changes raised the Saints threat and a smooth exchange of passes across the Ware area was well finshed by a resurgent Lewis Ochoa, enjoying one of his best afternoon's in the Saints midfield.
Keeper Ton Coulton had to make sharp save to deny Ochoa an equaliser just before Power-Simpson kept Saints in the game to deny Bishop his hat-trick when he broke free from of the defence.
Perhaps still scarred from their stoppage time defeat the previous week, Ware were unable to resist the inexorable forward push from Chalfont. Cracks began to appear and a rifle shot from Michael Murray from the edge of the area finally brought the scores level. Egged on by an expectant crowd, Saints won a corner in the dying moments. Perfectly delivered into the near post, Adam Kirby ran in unmarked to power his header into the back of the net to an explosion of celebrations.
Minutes later the final whistle blew and if the escape had overtones of Houdini, Saints were in a mood to celebrate as Ware players sank to the ground in misery. Such can be the joy and cruelty of football."