Ware 0 Barking 1
Strong display by the visitors earns them a close victory as Ware lose for the first time in four games.
Barking started this match at full tilt. They were quick and incisive going forward and moved the ball around well. For some time Ware were made to look at sixes and sevens, and whilst the visitors posed danger every time they attacked the home side offered no threat at all.
With Junior Appiah on the bench but presumably not fully match fit Ware again opted for three at the back but they were continually exposed. As early as the eighth minute Billy Jones played the ball in to Alan Taylor and Ware were only saved by Tom Coulton's save, beating the ball away at his near post.
Ware were being outplayed and needed to do something about it. The answer was to move Murat Karagul into a back four alongside Lee White with Gareth Madden and Alaa Oujdi at full back.
Things steadied after that and the match settled into an entertaining ding dong battle refereed well by the officials with just one yellow card in a hard contest under progressively more challenging weather conditions.
Ware had their first opportunity of the night on 26 minutes as Yannick Kamanan's pass released Marcus Milner on the right. He worked into the Barking area but his final ball was weak and safely gathered by Ollie Bowles.
But at least Ware were functioning properly now and three minutes later earned an indirect free kick a few yards outside the penalty area. Finbarr Robins touched the ball to Kamanan whose shot whistled past Bowles' right hand post with the keeper unable to do much about it.
Ten minutes before the break Madden's throw in to Denzel Conteh was passed on to Kamanan who, from 20 yards out, struck a shot that took a deflection, hit the underside of the bar and bounced down onto Bowles before being cleared. Ware were back in the game but Barking were still looking dangerous.
The second half started much as the first with the visitors pushing hard down the slope. As a result it wasn't long before the Blues made their first substitution with Ahmed Mohammed coming on for Ryan Hervel.
But the visitors continued to look good and on the hour mark a long clearance from Bowles in the increasing wind and rain bounced in front of Coulton who struggled to claim the ball before it was cleared under pressure.
Even so Ware were competing well but had already run through their three permitted substitutes by the time of the visitors' goal. A free kick outside the Ware area was driven over the wall by Kreshnic Krasniqi and although Coulton got a hand to it the ball cannoned into the net off his left hand post.
Ware started to search for an equaliser but found themselves up against a resolute defence that was reading the game better than them. As the rain fell more heavily and the wind blew it in waves across the pitch the home side engineered a number of chances with Kamanan heading wide in added time.
But the willingness to attack meant being exposed at the back and Taylor was guilty of a glaring miss from within the six yard box as Barking sought to seal the points.
In the end the miss didn't matter and as the final whistle sounded Ware could reflect that they might have forced a draw or better out of this absorbing contest if the goal frame had been a little more helpful to them and less so to Barking; but the visitors looked a very good outfit on the night and if anyone deserved to win it was them.
A coda to the match was the sight of Barking's Billy Jones collapsing on the pitch after the game's end. An ambulance was called but he was eventually able to walk off the pitch under his own steam. We wish him well.
Ware: Tom Coulton; Gareth Madden, Alaa Oujdi, Ryan Hervel (Ahmed Mohammed 53mins), Marcus Milner, Lee White, Murat Karagul, Denzel Conteh, Yannick Kamanan, Finbarr Robins (Rheo Josephs 67mins), Elliott Charles (Marvin Hamilton 62mins). Unused subs: Prince Madu, Junior Appiah.