Ware 0 Dereham Town 1
Ware's woes continue as Dereham take the points.
The visitors repeated the score line of their victory in the reverse fixture early in September. Back then Ware returned from Norfolk feeling that they had been hard done by but there could not be the same feeling this time round.
True, on the balance of play this probably should have been a draw with neither side stamping any authority on the game but Dereham converted one of their chances whilst Ware struggled to do the same. As confidence waned they looked for the perfect opportunity or another player rather than strike at goal in an uninspiring encounter.
It was difficult to understand Ware's approach to this match with the team looking at times like a collection of individuals. In the circumstances it was Aston Goss who caught the eye as he continually probed and carried the ball down either wing.
Gareth Price, who only appeared from the bench in the second half, put his usual effort into the game but without the injured Murat Karagul Ware lacked sufficient drive from deep. This led to frustration and Price was guilty of an unnecessary foul that earned him a yellow card, one of four picked up by his team.
Things had started well enough for Ware. In an end to end opening period it was they who engineered any chances culminating in Goss's shot in the 18th minute which spilled from Josh Viner's grasp with Junior Appiah just unable to reach the ball before the keeper recovered.
Minutes later Dereham had their first opportunity when Ryan Crisp headed wide with a difficult chance from a looping cross that dropped as if from on high. Will Sainsbury-Logan was next with a shot well clear of the bar but there were signs that the visitors were beginning to get into the game, especially when Rhys Logan shot just wide near the half hour mark.
But Ware were not out of it and on 37 minutes Dean Mason laid the ball off to Josh Oyibo whose long range volley was also just wide. As the half closed Joe Reynolds did well to lift the ball over the Dereham defence to open up a chance for himself but the referee saw an infringement and brought the promising move to an end.
As has happened before in this season the second half had barely started before Ware conceded a goal and as in other cases it came from a break away. A good move at the other end of the pitch ended with Oyibo's cross gathered into Viner's grasp. The visitors broke immediately and there was Joe Gatting with only Kyle Forster to beat. He did so with a lob to open the scoring after just two minutes of play.
Almost immediately from the restart Goss sent over a cross from the left but Oyibo shot through a crowd of players into Viner's hands. This became the main story of the second half as Ware spent much of their time searching for an equaliser but were too easily lost in a Dereham defence keen to protect their lead.
Another Goss cross on 54 minutes tested the Dereham defence who failed to cut it out but it eluded the oncoming Oyibo by inches. Price then appeared from the bench and straight away put a ball through to Appiah whose shot was wide before moments later Goss was once again crossing from the left but with no-one able to convert it.
It wasn't all one-way traffic and in an episode of misunderstanding between Marcus Rose and Forster the ball was shot between them towards goal but with insufficient power to prevent Tom Bradbury getting back to clear comfortably.
And so to the last minutes as Ware pushed harder for a goal, the best chance being Price's shot after 87 minutes that was deflected by a defender and thus required Viner to execute a fine reaction save to deny Ware a share of the points.
Ware: Kyle Forster, Jack Mace, Alaa Oujdi, Ryan Hervel (Gareth Price 56mins), Marcus Rose, Tom Bradbury, Dean Mason (Kambo Smith 78mins), Joe Reynolds, Junior Appiah, Josh Oyibo (Lewis Soraf 87mins), Aston Goss. Unused subs: Evandro Delgado, Ashley Harris.