Great Wakering Rovers 0 Ware 5
New management team gets off to "Great" start. Mehmet Elitok (2nd right) joins the photo as Steve Clark, Danny Foster, Anwar Uddin and Rich Bates pose before the start of the game.
With only nine minutes gone and the result already seemingly in the bag after Ware had scored three times without reply all concerned might have been forgiven for thinking that a new era had dawned heralding success all the way to the end of the season.
Understandably new manager Anwar Uddin expressed himself "Delighted" with the response from the team, "They did what was asked of them," he said after the game but he is too wise to think that every opponent will be as generous as Great Wakering were in the opening period. Stiffer tasks lie ahead and he will have to face the next one without top scorer Gareth Price who is starting a two-match suspension next Saturday.
Even so this was a very good performance from a team that went looking for supremacy and goals from the off and got what they were looking for after just 35 seconds. Dean Mason's shot from outside the box skidded on the greasy surface and slipped under Tyler McCarthy's dive to hit the back of the net.
McCarthy had apparently been Wakering's hero in a 1-1 draw last Monday but such are the ups and downs of a goalkeeper's life that he was picking the ball out of the net again just two minutes later. That man Price was doing his usual never-say-die act and closed in on the keeper as he prepared to clear a seemingly harmless back pass. The keeper was too late and Price too quick, the clearance cannoning off him and into the goal for two-nil.
The home side looked shell-shocked and the ball rarely got beyond Ware's midfield when they launched an attack. Darren Behcet, Ware's sixth goalkeeper this season and the only new man in the team hardly touched the ball in the first half as Ware seemed to win just about every tackle to prevent Great Wakering developing anything of note going forward.
At the other end of the pitch it was a different story and in the eighth minute a break on the left saw Murat Karagul feed the ball to Price who wrong footed the home defence by turning the ball inside for Josh Oyibo. His shot from outside the area was low and hard, going past McCarthy's left and into the corner for three-nil.
Ware kept up the pressure with McCarthy saving with his feet after a good move from the visitors in the 11th minute before a poor clearance two minutes later gave the ball to Ware just inside the home side's half. The ball was fired back with two defenders letting it slip between them to reach Price who shot wide under pressure from McCarthy.
With Marcus Rose fit again it was Lewis Soraf who retained his place in the back four at the expense of Tom Bradbury on the bench. Soraf was having a good game and after 24 minutes split the home defence with a great pass for Karagul who couldn't quite get his foot to it.
It looked as though the half was going to see no more scoring until five minutes before the break. One Ware attack was broken up but the ball cleared only as far as Joe Reynolds who played it out to Jack Mace. The full back worked forward before finding Price close to the six yard box from where he made no mistake to make it four-nil.
If anything the first twenty minutes of the second half saw Ware in more control than they were before with play almost permanently in the home half of the pitch. Ware eventually found their fifth goal but in curious circumstances.
Jack Mace had already been yellow carded for what seemed a relatively innocuous tackle when Evandro Delgado was brought down in a heavy tackle. The referee awarded a free kick but Oyibo, who has developed a mature attitude on the pitch of late that has improved his football considerably, presumably sensed the need to point out the difference in the two offences. He reverted to his old ways and charged across the pitch to remonstrate and might have got himself a red card if he had not been held well clear by his team mates.
There was more than a little irony that Karagul's free kick was floated over to the far post where Oyibo was on hand to head home for Ware's fifth.
In the charged atmosphere following the events there was a sense that scores might be about to be settled and the sight of home players racing to tackle Oyibo when he had the ball raised apprehension though needlessly as it turned out.
Whether it was a need to calm everything down or that Ware started to relax but Great Wakering started to come into the game. On 74 minutes McCarthy cleared the ball straight to Karagul outside the area but he was unable to make anything of it and this time the clearance found a home player. Jacob Cleaver tried a long range shot that bounced off the top of Ware's bar.
Ten minutes later Rovers were denied a consolation when Lewis Soraf headed the ball off the line. It was the last serious action of a good afternoon's work which lifted Ware back towards the middle of the table.
For the record it was Ware's biggest league win since they beat Fleet Town 6-1 last season and their biggest away win in the league since 15th December 2007 when Waltham Abbey also went down by 5-0. At 35 seconds the opening goal was five seconds later than Elliot Bailey's at Kings Langley last year, the game, as it happens, that marked the start of Ken Charlery's time as manager.
Ware: Darren Behcet, Jack Mace, Aston Goss, Josh Oyibo (Ryan Hervel 86mins), Lewis Soraf, Marcus Rose, Dean Mason, Joe Reynolds, Gareth Price (Kambo Smith 83mins), Evandro Delgado (Junior Appiah 72mins), Murat Karagul. Unused subs: Tom Bradbury, Dani Ladeira.