Ware 0 Hanwell Town 1
Disappointing end to encouraging season.
Ware were looking for their 20th league win of the season but instead fell to a second successive defeat for the first time since early February.
It was hardly a disappointing end for Hanwell. Going into the game they knew that a win would ensure they would not be relegated. As it turned out a second consecutive victory also for the first time since February was unnecessary as results elsewhere went in their favour. But they weren't to know that and their greater desire for points was probably the difference between the two sides.
Ware were once more without Marcus Rose in central defence after his injury at Royston in midweek. Dernell Wynter was also absent having been recalled to Enfield for their crucial match at Hampton where he came off the bench in front of 2,300 spectators. Whether he returns to the more modest crowds at Wodson Park next season remains to be seen.
Taking his number ten shirt was Justin Leavers who is almost the direct opposite of Wynter in both size and style of play whilst the bench had a flavour of the season's end about it. Occupying it were three young players plus Rod Young now returned for his first call up in two and a half months. Even so the most significant substitute was Joe Simmonds who was required when Tom Coulton's hamstring went.
Once play was underway Hanwell, as might be expected, looked just that little bit more interested in the game than Ware with David Manu, their big number nine, making a nuisance of himself throughout. Even so it was Ware who had the best chance after 22 minutes when Khale Dacosta fed Kieran Bishop whose shot cannoned off the Hanwell bar. This appeared to be a wake up call for Ware and they had their best spell of the game in the period up to half time.
It was only three minutes later that a nice bit of control in the area allowed Bishop time to turn but his shot hit the side netting. However, on 32 minutes Bishop again turned his man in the area and this time it was a left foot shot that hit the bar once more, this time bouncing down just in front of the goal line before being cleared.
But it wasn't all one-way traffic and Manu was in with a chance on 42 minutes until George Essuman's crucial interception at the expense of a corner. Then Calum Duffy (one of four brothers in the visiting side) fired in a bullet shot in the final minute of the half which Coulton did well to punch clear.
Ware were never as commanding in a second half that started badly with a caution for Essuman before Coulton's injury in the 57th minute. From then on it was Hanwell who appeared to want the win more and they had their reward in the 65th minute when Calum Duffy's long throw was met by Tom Inch whose calm flick was enough to find the net from close range.
Hanwell now looked content to hold on to what they had and with good news from Leighton's game at Chalfont filtering through that was probably a reasonable option. Ware responded by bringing on Cameron Currie and Kit Brown both from the youth and Under-21 sides. But it was not until the 86th minute when Essuman's header from a Karagul corner went just wide that Ware really opened up the Hanwell defence for a lone chance to rescue a point.
Ware: Tom Coulton (Joe Simmonds 58mins), Jack Mace, Murat Karagul, Jake Chambers-Shaw, George Essuman, Harry Singh, Jack Hutchinson (Cameron Currie 66mins), Josh Oyibo, Kieran Bishop, Justin Leavers (Kit Brown 79mins), Khale Dacosta. Unused subs: Rod Young, Taylor Wild.