Witham Town 2 Ware 1
Once again Ware play well but don't get their reward.
It's getting hard to find something original to say about Ware's performances. They have now played four consecutive away games in the league and done enough to have won all of them yet have gathered only two points.
This match was another example of their inability to clinch a win from a dominant position though a crucial injury played its part. Until then and with Josh Oyibo on the bench Ryan Hervel was given another start in midfield. His pairing with Murat Karagul seemed to be one of the reasons for Ware having the better of the opening half as they dominated possession and limited Witham to long balls for Tim Monsheju and Usman Adeniji to chase. They didn't have much luck and were regularly caught offside.
Ware on the other hand were building moves well and it paid dividends as early as the fourth minute when Brian Haule laid the ball off to Gareth Price whose precise volley found the net over the head of Witham's keeper Lewis Snelgrove. Suggestions that it was the goal of the season may be premature given that we are still in September but it must be a candidate.
The visitors kept up the pressure and Jonathan Constant had an opening after 12 minutes that was only thwarted by the home defence closing him down quickly. Meanwhile Evandro Delgado was catching the eye using his strength to out-muscle defenders to keep the play moving forward. This led to another chance in the 28th minute but again the defence funnelled back to crowd out Ware's forwards.
It all seemed to be going so well but right at the end of the half a ball into the Ware area was met by Ryan Charles. His shot took a deflection and looped up past Kyle Forster for what, on balance, was an unlikely equaliser.
There was more bad news for Ware at the start of the second half as Marcus Rose failed to appear having suffered a hamstring strain. As a result Karagul dropped to centre back and Oyibo took his place in midfield.
If this upset Ware's rhythm it showed as Witham, doubtless buoyed by their equaliser, had the better of the opening exchanges. They had started to move the ball around and looked dangerous but Ware survived and with Oyibo's 54th minute shot, a firm drive from outside the area held well by Snelgrove, signalled that they were still in the contest.
Ten minutes later Constant was set free in the Witham area but was forced wide and unable to get a shot away. He did however work the ball across the area from where Price shot wide.
Price brought another save out of Snelgrove on 72 minutes but five minutes later Hervel came off with what looked like cramp and after both sides brought on substitutes Witham scored what proved to be their winner. A fierce shot from newly arrived Max Bradford was parried by Forster and Scott Kemp (himself an earlier substitute) was on hand to hit the loose ball into the roof of the net.
Ware continued to plug away and Haule hit the bar just three minutes later but with Witham content to play for time by shepherding the ball to the corner flags the minutes just ran out.
With a midweek visit to Brentwood in the league cup, Ware don't return home until next Saturday. Their opponents will be Wroxham who are firmly at the bottom of the table but with Ware's current run of luck anything may happen.
Ware: Kyle Forster, Jack Mace, Alaa Oujdi, Murat Karagul, Marcus Rose (Josh Oyibo 46mins), Tom Bradbury, Jonathan Constant, Ryan Hervel (Jason Coughlan 77mins), Brian Haule, Gareth Price, Evandro Delgado (Aston Goss 71mins). Unused subs: Kambo Smith, Joe Simmonds.