Ware 0 Bury Town 1
Second half penalty decider takes the points back to Suffolk.
This game did not live up to the pre-match billing of a goal fest with just a spot kick separating the two teams at the end. The fact that even now the average number of goals scored in this fixture is still four tells you that the match had a lot to live up to, maybe too much for an end of season encounter with nothing riding on it.
That said it wasn't without entertainment and both sides might have had more to shout about with better finishing and maybe a more sympathetic assistant referee. Harry Voss was required to make a good save from Tommy Robinson on 20 minutes and then Cemal Ramadan missed two first half golden opportunities before making amends from the penalty spot in the second.
Meanwhile Harley Haag was twice given offside with no-one quite sure why, the second only after he had the ball in the net and to the mystification of supporters on both sides.
Haag had a good game even winning a free kick on the edge of the Bury area when he just appeared to have slipped to the ground. His close control is a definite asset and he can usually get past opponents with comparative ease which may be why the referee sided with him in this occasion.
That was within five minutes of half time in a period when Ware were in the ascendancy. It hadn't always been that way and Bury had earlier enjoyed plenty of possession and territory. It was then that Ramadan was twice released into the Ware area with only Voss to beat, the second just after 30 minutes when a clever reverse pass opened up the Ware defence. But Ramadan lofted a soft shot that was easily dealt with by the keeper.
Ware were first to show in the second half with Leigh Rose engineering an opening after 53 minutes. Caught between passing to Haag or shooting for goal he hit the ball midway between the two and it was safely gathered by Luis Tibbles in the Bury goal.
Haag then made his own opening three minutes later, working past three defenders before shooting over the bar from outside the area.
But again it wasn't all Ware and just past the hour mark a Bury attack caused problems in the Ware defence. The ball bounced up and hit Louis Bowen on the arm to claims for a penalty from the visitors. The referee waived these aside but even as he did so, with Bowen struggling to get control of the ball, a Bury player came round him and seemed to trip over the centre back's leg. It looked self inflicted but it was a case of two half penalties making a whole for the referee and Ramadan made no mistake from the spot.
Ware had started the game with four changes from the side that won at Soham in midweek, Bradley Fraser coming in at centre back for the surgery-bound Damien Green, but otherwise several of those rested on Tuesday back in the starting line up. The goal now brought a triple substitution as Ware sought to reinvigorate their game.
The best chance came on 75 minutes when Milner did well to get into the box near the by line before sending the ball across the face of the Bury goal. The incoming Haag was just short of connecting for a well worked equaliser but the ball went away from him and with it the game.
Ware: Harry Voss, Anthony Furlonge (Charlie Yexley 69mins), Dominique Njoya, Gareth Madden, Bradley Fraser, Louis Bowen, Marcus Milner, Josh Oyibo, Harley Haag, Leigh Rose (Jordon Watson 69mins), Dave Cowley (Ross Elsom 69mins). Unused subs: Finley Long.
Whine or wag. Disappointed as Tiberius was that we lost he still feels that things look good for next season. Two wags of his tail confidently directed towards the future.