Bury Town 2 Ware 2
Ware not quite able to turn a good performance into a win.
With Jack Mace unavailable Jonathan Constant, who played a number of games in pre-season, was signed from Enfield Town and came into midfield allowing Aston Goss to drop into the right back position. Maybe it was these changes that contributed to a slow start by Ware but the home side dominated the opening ten minutes before Ware grew into this match until at one point it seemed only a matter of how much they would win by. But Bury came again in the last ten minutes and as ever in those circumstances could have taken all three points.
As it was the home side might have been able to put the game beyond Ware's reach in an opening spell that had Ken Charlery's side on the back foot. Josh Mayhew could have handed the home side the lead as early as the fourth minute as he turned and shot against Kyle Forster's right hand post. The ball rebounded across the face of the goal before going to safety.
Mayhew wasn't to be denied though and two minutes later a flick on from Ryan Jolland's head set Remi Garrett free in the Ware area. Alaa Oujdi endeavoured to recover the ball and if, in the ensuing tussle, Garrett went down a little too easily for some tastes it was enough for the referee to point to the spot. Mayhew wasn't going to miss again and drove the ball into the bottom left of Forster's goal.
Bury continued at a pace and Ware gave the impression that they might be overwhelmed but they stuck at their task with Murat Karagul as ever a rock in midfield. As a result Ware began to establish themselves in the game with a first sign of the recovery coming in the 17th minute with Gareth Price crossing from the right but just beyond Brian Haule as Neil O'Sullivan gathered easily in the home goal.
Two minutes later though Price was crossing from the left and this came to be the story of the remainder of the half as Ware searched for an opening with Evandro Delgado almost finding it until a good save from O'Sullivan. But if it was Ware who were applying most of the pressure they were finding little change from a resolute home defence.
Bury had the wind at their backs for the second half but if anything this was a hindrance as balls forward outran their pursuers. On the other hand Ware benefited from the ball being held up as they went forward allowing the midfield time to gather and distribute. Even so Bury might have extended their lead in the 50th minute when the ball was given away at the back and Mayhew had a free shot on goal that went wide.
But it was Ware who were dictating now and two minutes later Oujdi's cross found Price on the right and his centre was met by Haule who rose above the defence to head the equaliser.
Ware were stroking the ball around with a degree of confidence that has mostly been missing since the pre-season period. Chances were coming more frequently and Constant was wide with a good strike before Tom Bradbury had the ball in the net only to be ruled offside. The goal came eventually however with another Oujdi ball into the area and Price stooping to head home after 68 minutes.
Ware had their tales up and were looking to consolidate their winning position but with just over ten minutes of normal time left an attack down the Bury left caught out the Ware defence. There were complaints about a foul on Marcus Rose but the referee waved play on and the ball was sent across an open Ware goal. Sam Whiting cleared but was penalised by the referee who awarded Bury another penalty and a yellow card to Oujdi presumably for something he said.
Mayhew scored his second and with Ware now battling rain as well as wind the home side came good again but the visitors clung on to the point.
Like Monday's draw at Romford this might easily have been a win for Ware who are now four games undefeated in the league. Charlery was as frustrated as anyone but expressed his satisfaction that Ware had "started to click" as a team.
Ware: Kyle Forster, Aston Goss, Alaa Oujdi, Murat Karagul, Marcus Rose, Tom Bradbury, Jonathan Constant (Kambo Smith 74mins), Josh Oyibo, Brian Haule, Gareth Price (Sam Whiting 74mins), Evandro Delgado. Unused subs: Ryan Hervel, Justin Leavers, Joe Simmonds.