Heybridge Swifts 2 Ware 1
Ware drop into relegation zone as another close game goes the way of the opposition.
A second 2-1 away defeat on the trot for Ware combined with another home win for Soham Town Rangers means the two sides swap places in the table. Ware are now third from bottom and three points adrift of the Cambridgeshire side.
Having taken a first half lead, Ware once again conceded a goal shortly after the half time break to give their opponents belief. Even then it took until the last few minutes for Swifts to secure the points following a hard fought encounter.
There were commiserations for the Blues after the match but unlike last week's visit to Norwich where they were unlucky to lose there was the suspicion that Swifts had merited the points after having made just that bit more of the wind advantage in the second half than Ware had in the first.
Blues had started the game with Gareth Price on the bench and Ellis Remy replacing him at number nine with the chance to exploit his height. This rather encouraged an aerial approach which did not really pay off in a stiff wind that gave both sides trouble.
Ware might have done better with the ball on the ground but it wasn't until ten minutes to go that Price got the call to replace Remy; and only after Swifts' second did Evandro Delgado and Jonathan Nzengo follow him onto the pitch to show what might have been possible with a ground based game.
Swifts enjoyed the better of the early exchanges but the game soon settled down into one of attack and counter attack. Even so it was the home side that carved out the best opportunities early on with Adam Adeoye Yussuf volleying wide just part the quarter hour and Lewis Godbold heading a corner into the ground and over five minutes later.
Having spurned these chances Swifts went behind after half an hour. A good run by Marcus Milner, who has returned to the club to add to the 32 appearances and four goals from his previous time under Kem Kemal, ended with the ball pulled back to Kambo Smith. He in turn fed Murat Karagul who saw his shot deflected for a corner. From this Ryan Hervel's inswinger might have found the net unaided but Lee White applied his head to the ball to make sure.
This lifted Ware and they enjoyed a good spell. Milner tried his luck from the edge of the area on 34 minutes only to see his shot somehow scrambled onto a post by Lewis Moore and off for what would have been a corner but for the referee awarding a goal kick. Smith was next in action with a turn and shot but it had neither the power nor direction to beat Moore.
Nowadays nerves become strained in the minutes after half time as supporters wonder if Ware will concede yet again. They were not to be surprised. With the wind at their backs Swifts came out looking to apply pressure for an early goal. One corner had already been cleared for another with the home crowd baying for a hand ball offence in the area. The referee turned away the claims but Swifts were not to be denied for long. The second corner was long but headed back into the six yard box where Yussuf was on hand to head the equaliser.
Ware now underwent a lengthy period of pressure as the home side sought to build on the momentum they had gained but the visitors survived and slowly the assault subsided. Ware then had their moments as first Milner's overhead lob from Hervel's pass just cleared the bar before Hervel was the supplier again this time finding Jack Fowler who shot into the side netting.
It looked as though the game would see a share of the spoils but with four minutes of normal time left a free kick from some way outside the Ware penalty area was lofted down the middle and high towards the goal. Reece Grant was on hand to head the ball on and into the net. Behcet got a hand to it but might have had more luck if he had come off his line to cut the ball out.
Manager Anwar Uddin was obviously "disappointed" with the result but felt that his team just had to pick themselves up and go again in the remaining games. They have five matches left to turn things around and will start next Saturday with a home game against Witham Town.
Given the other results in the division Great Wakering and Wroxham are both relegated but Ware are still a long way from being finished.
Ware: Darren Behcet, Anthony Furlonge, Alaa Oujdi, Ryan Hervel, Jack Fowler, Lee White, Marcus Milner, Tyrique Hyde, Ellis Remy (Gareth Price 81mins), Kambo Smith (Evandro Delgado 86mins), Murat Karagul (Jonathan Nzengo 88mins). Unused subs: Marcus Rose, Josh Oyibo.