Ware 2 Aylesbury United 1
Below par performance but another three points for Ware.
With just the one enforced change to what has become their regular starting line up after Steven O'Hara came in for the injured Marcus Rose, Ware might have been expected to continue their current run of high tempo performances. But for some reason they weren't quite up to the mark they have set recently in a game that was a little underwhelming as a result.
Not that anyone in blue will mind as Ware hung on to a slender lead to make it three winning Saturdays on the trot. Add to that Kieran Bishop's sixth successive scoring game and Khale Dacosta who celebrated his 100th appearance for the club by making the second goal and it was a satisfying afternoon for the Blues.
Ware showed the better touches in the first half but could make little out of it whilst the visitors moved the ball well at times and had their chances in front of the Ware goal. But it was Ware who ought to have gone ahead on at least a couple of occasions.
First Murat Karagul made ground on the left of the Aylesbury area. A pass or shot were the options but, in choosing the latter, the ball was driven behind the goal. It was Dernell Wynter, who has had his loan spell from Enfield extended, who had the best chance of the half. Beating the offside by a hair's breadth he was through on goal and round Zaki Oualah the Aylesbury keeper. It looked odds on a goal and yet as Wynter shot for the empty net somehow Oualah recovered and dived to divert the ball for a corner.
Any hope that Ware would up their game in the second half was soon lost as the game proceeded to be played below Ware's normal speed. Even so the Blues took the lead through Bishop after 53 minutes with a goal reminiscent of several that he has scored this season.
A high ball through the defence left the Ware man duelling in the air with Chris Crook who was soon left, seemingly out muscled by the forward's persistence. Bishop took the ball across the face of the six yard area as Oualah came from his goal and engineered some space before turning to shoot. There was no recovery save this time and Ware had their lead.
Eleven minutes later it was 2-0 as DaCosta took the ball down the right wing before putting it across the six yard box. Wynter was there but once again Oualah was equal to the task and parried his shot away though this time only as far as Karagul who stooped to head home.
Two up with 25 minutes to play should be a winning position but this season is different. Had there been some sort of Duckworth-Lewis rule to allow for Ware's recent performances the game would probably have been judged a draw had it ended at that point so to have come out of this game with a win was a cause for relief and congratulation.
Even then it was a nail biting finish, especially after the visitors pulled one back with 15 minutes to go. Bishop was guilty of a foul that earned him a lecture from the referee and from the free kick the ball was played into the Ware area and then across it to the unmarked Stacey Field who scored inside the post.
Somehow Ware weathered the renewed attacks of a revitalised Aylesbury side, conceding several free kicks from dangerous positions in the process, and held on to the points.
Ware: Tom Coulton, Jack Mace, Alaa Oujdi, Ryan Hervel, Steve O'Hara, Ben Crilley, Khale Dacosta, Jimmy Hartley (Josh Oyibo 82mins), Kieran Bishop, Dernell Wynter (Elliot Bailey 85mins), Murat Karagul. Unused subs: Joe Simmons, Harley Haag, Cameron Currie.