Phoenix Sports 1 Ware 1
Ware players leave the pitch through an interesting "Level Crossing" arrangement to ponder how they might have had three points.
After a run of five defeats Ware would probably have settled for a draw before this game started but having dictated play throughout the first half they looked capable of taking all three points. That they didn't reflected their inability to turn possession into enough clear cut chances. The second half was an even affair and on the basis of good chances was probably shaded by the home side.
All Ware had to show for their first half efforts was a goal from Josh Oyinsan who has now scored in each of his three appearances for the club. That it wasn't more was down to over elaboration at times and the desire to shoot from a difficult position when a pass might have been more productive.
At the back there were few problems and the defence coped well with such chances their hosts created. Tom Bradbury and Murat Karagul, deputising again at centre back with Marcus Rose injured, formed the core of a solid back line that was mostly untroubled by a home attack that failed to put many good moves together.
The visitors on the other hand were moving well from the start and Gareth Price brought a save out of Steve Phillips in the home goal as early as the second minute. Ware continued to look for openings and two minutes later Oyinsan's header was over the bar with the Phoenix defence in some trouble.
After ten minutes of increasing pressure Ware earned the first corner of the game which was cleared to Joe Reynolds whose attempted volley spun high and wide. Price was working as hard as usual but it was Evandro Delgado who was doing the damage as his runs down the left had Jordan Campbell in constant difficulty.
The first half can be read as a succession of efforts from Delgado with a teasing run ending in a corner on 16 minutes, a volley from a Price cross ten minutes later that might have had more success but for a defender unknowingly in the way and another stinger on the half hour that Phillips couldn't gather, the ball bouncing clear off his chest.
There was a good interchange between Brian Haule and Oyinsan two minutes later but somehow the home defence smothered the opportunity but within a minute Ware were back. This time a cross from Alaa Oujdi found Price who fed Oyinsan. The number seven turned and shot home for the lead.
Ware continued to press and there were more chances with the best being Haule's low header from a Price cross that went just the wrong side of the post.
Based on Ware's previous two defeats half time came with the thought that a game they had dominated might once again slip from their grasp. Certainly Phoenix came out looking to make a better fist of things in the second period and an end to end contest ensued.
Even so it was Delgado again who worked Campbell into conceding a corner on 50 minutes. It came to nothing and Phoenix were back on the attack with their first dangerous attempt, a shot that went across goal and was deflected for their first corner of the game.
Two minutes later the home side had what they wanted when Theo Fairweather-Johnson drove home a curling shot from the right that eluded Ashley Harris's dive and went in off his right hand post.
It was the lift that Phoenix needed but Ware were the next to show after Josh Oyibo's clearance from a corner led to a race between Price and Campbell. The full back applied enough pressure to force Price to shoot wide.
Both sides had their moments after that with Harris saving with his feet at the base of a post before a follow up shot was blocked by Bradbury whilst good chances for Delgado and Price were denied by Phillips in the 85th and 87th minutes. But the last word went to Phoenix with a shot across Ware's goal that was just wide in added time.
Ware: Ashley Harris, Jack Mace, Alaa Oujdi, Josh Oyibo (Ryan Hervel 76mins), Murat Karagul, Tom Bradbury, Josh Oyinsan (Kambo Smith 65mins), Joe Reynolds, Brian Haule, Gareth Price, Evandro Delgado. Unused subs: Aston Goss, Dani Ladeira.