Westfield 3 Ware 2
By Stephen King
Ware surrender two goal lead as Westfield score their first win at Step 4.
Ware may have scored what were unquestionably the two best goals of the game but Westfield worked their way back into the contest and ultimately did enough to deserve their win. Ben Hart and Jordon Watson remained unavailable for this game and were joined as an absentee by Jack Daveney but Blues still put in a good first half performance which was only undone when the home side were awarded what some felt was a harsh penalty.
The game started with Ware showing an enterprising spirit going forward but there were also signs of the home team's strength as they forced three corners in the opening eight minutes. Even so Leigh Rose was working hard up front for Ware and on nine minutes he fed debutant Lauric Diakiesse whose shot was deflected for the first of two Ware corners in what was proving to be an entertaining contest.
Taking their cue from this Ware opened the scoring with an excellent goal. Alaa Oujdi picked up the ball in his own half and fired it out to the left where Albert Adu was waiting. The pass was deflected off a home player but still reached Adu who played in a cross to the six yard area where it was met by Rose. His side footed volley found the top corner of the Westfield goal with Garry Ross unable to do anything about it.
Westfield continued to threaten down their left and by the mid point in the half were well into the game with Harry Ricketts, playing his first game for Ware since December 2009, having to finger tip away from under his cross bar. There again, two minutes later Rose was denied from close range by Ross as Ware searched for a second goal.
Diakiesse was next as Rose set him up in front of goal but his low shot, on the long grass, lacked power with Ross gathering easily. Yet Ware were not to be denied and on 34 minutes it was Rose again, duelling for a high ball which bounced clear to Adu. The number ten took a couple of steps to set himself up before shooting home from a good 25 yards out.
Things were looking good but three minutes later another raid down the left ended with the ball fired across the Ware area just feet off the ground. Ricketts seemed to have it but the ball came free and there was Jamil Okai with the easiest of chances to reduce the arrears.
Things got worse on 40 minutes as Louis Bowen collided with an attacker. It was enough for referee Mr Small to point to the penalty spot. There were those on both sides who thought this was a harsh decision but Karle Carder-Andrews wasn't concerned and slotted home the equaliser.
This was what Westfield needed and they might have gone ahead but for an excellent save from Ricketts as Okai bore down on goal. They carried on in the second half as they started to take a grip on the game whilst Ware found it harder to open up a now resolute defence in which John Oyenuga and Matthew Steer were playing well.
Adu was still able to fire one shot narrowly wide and later put a ball across the face of the home goal with Diakiesse just unable to convert it but in the end the game was settled by another penalty. This time there was no doubt about it as Charlie Yexley brought an attacker down from behind. Carder-Andrews converted again.
Ricketts, who earlier had no option but to stand and watch as George Frith hit his crossbar, did well to save a free kick with three minutes left. He was soon in the opposing penalty area as Ware sought to benefit from a last gasp corner but it was not to be and Ware, who at 1-0 were briefly top of the league table, finished the day in 12th place.
Ware: Harry Ricketts, Charlie Yexley (Billy Baird 77mins), Dominique Njoya, Gareth Madden, Louis Bowen, Bradley Fraser, Alaa Oujdi, Dave Cowley, Leigh Rose, Albert Adu, Lauric Diakiesse. Unused subs: Vlantislav Gkontsarov, Kardan Campbell, Kofi Appiah, Ross Elsom.