Bowers & Pitsea 0 Ware 2
Lucky for some. 13th league game since last victory sees Ware bring home the points.
A goal in each half ended Ware's barren run in the league after their hosts, second in the table, failed to properly adjust to the windy conditions. Ware meanwhile played a controlled game to keep Bowers at bay with strong performances from all at the back. In a first half that saw a high wind behind the home side they were denied any clear cut chances.
Both sides probably found Mr Bodell particularly observant in applying the rules and with Bowers enjoying much of the territory and possession in the first half Ware had to survive a number of free kicks. Jamie Salmon took them all and on another day might have had some success but the wind made placement difficult to judge and too often took the ball away from the intended recipient.
Alaa Oujdi was one of the main culprits in giving away free kicks and as early as the 13th minute he was yellow carded for persistent fouling. He clung on to his place on the field despite giving away other free kicks but with the threat of a second yellow hanging over him he was substituted at half time. His replacement would be debutant Hady Traore who put in a good shift in the second half.
Despite the flurry of activity in their half Ware did fashion a number of openings. Keeping the ball on the ground was the key to success in the conditions and Sam Alderson's quick free kick between two defenders on 28 minutes was only just beyond Marvin Hamilton as he raced to meet it.
There was more danger on 39 minutes when Junior Appiah came forward and put the ball through to Yannick Kamanan who slid in but just failed to do more than steer the ball marginally wide of the post. But Ware were not to be denied and a minute later Ahmed Abdulla spotted an opportunity to release Alaa Oujdi with a low, square pass just inside the Bowers half. Oujdi carried it forward before crossing to Ross Elsom who laid it into Abdulla. His shot was turned away by Callum Chafer but there was Hamilton, having his best game of the season, reacting fastest to shoot home.
The second half saw Bowers applying some early pressure with Ware's Nicholas Symons earning a yellow card three minutes in. Once again however the home side were denied clear chances on goal whilst Ware began to make use of the wind now at their backs.
On and around the hour mark Bowers fielded all three of their substitutes and the appearance of David Knight and Fahad Nyanja certainly added pace and width to their attacks. It was a difficult task but they were eventually well marshalled by Appiah and Traore.
It was the wind that played a part in Ware clinching the points. A long clearance from Harry Voss was headed on and beyond the Bowers back line and there was Alderson racing in with just Chafer to beat. The keeper came off his line to narrow Alderson's chances but the young midfielder volleyed over him for his first Ware goal.
Kamanan might have made the game all the more secure late on when his shot from the half way line beat the keeper but hit the outside of the post to deny him yet another added time goal. It didn't matter, Ware had the points and a clean sheet with Voss not needing to make one save all afternoon. It is still early days but Ware's 1700th Isthmian League match was a good sign for the future.
Ware: Harry Voss, Junior Appiah, Alaa Oujdi (Hady Traore 46mins), Andrew Trivianhu (Ace'a Laurent 46mins), Damien Green, Nicholas Symons, Marvin Hamilton (Murat Karagul 72mins), Ahmed Abdulla, Yannick Kamanan, Ross Elsom, Sam Alderson. Unused subs: Elliott Harris, Louis Yuill.