Waltham Abbey 1 Ware 2
By Stephen King
Ware back on track after previous week's setback as play-offs appear on the horizon.
There were three changes to the starting line up for this game with, firstly, the former Abbey player Jack Daveney being brought into action at the expense of Kardan Campbell. Possibly manager Paul Halsey was looking for Daveney to raise his game and make a point against the club that let him go at the beginning of the season.
Ben Hart also made a start in place of the absent Fraser John whilst Harry Norman moved across to his old right back position with Alaa Oujdi filling the left back post and Charlie Yexley on the bench.
Daveney was replaced by Campbell with 15 minutes to go and, making his debut, Williams Danquah came on for Hart even later but the match was already heading Ware's way by the time of these substitutions. These also included Jordon Watson for Oujdi and the freshened the line up enabled Ware to keep their noses in front.
Beyond this tinkering Dave Cowley, Brandon Adams and Albert Adu have become a powerful trio for Ware. In a game in which the recently prolific Adams drew a blank, Adu came through with a brace of goals to lift the visitors into eighth place in the table and within sight, albeit a distant one at the moment, of the play off places.
Ware had started at a high tempo and as early as the third minute Cowley's shot on the turn skimmed the cross bar. Four minutes later the same player was robbing Ryan Handalaar on the right before sending over a cross that Adams headed just over the bar. Adams was again close on ten minutes when a hesitant defence opened up for him but his shot from the edge of the area was narrowly wide of the post.
Even so there was a scare for Ware on the half hour mark when Anthony Page came out of his area to head a through ball clear but with not enough power on the clearance it fell to Daniel Aristidou. He lobbed the keeper who was stranded in no man's land and it looked as though Ware would be punished but Gareth Madden got back to clear off the line and keep the scores level.
That was something of a turning point as with little more than five minutes to the break Adu was on the receiving end of a Hart corner. Adu is far from the tallest player in the side but he got his head to the ball to direct it into the top corner of Lamar Johnson's goal. It was not a million miles away from his previous goal against the same keeper, then playing for Hertford in this season's encounter at Wodson Park.
The game was not won yet though and after Christian Assombalona had equalised for the home side, sweeping the ball home ten minutes after the restart, it needed another Adu header to settle the outcome. This time a cross from the right was directed into the bottom of the goal with 20 minutes to go.
Ware might yet have put the result beyond doubt. Cowley's free kick to the back post was met by Louis Rose but the defender could not mark his fiftieth appearance for the club with a goal, instead heading the ball wide. Perhaps his contribution to a third consecutive away win will be enough.
Ware: Anthony Page, Harry Norman, Alaa Oujdi (Jordon Watson 81mins), Jack Daveney (Kardan Campbell 75mins), Louis Rose, Gareth Madden, Ben Hart (Williams Danquah 81mins), Leigh Rose, Brandon Adams, Albert Adu, Dave Cowley. Unused subs: Charlie Yexley, Josh Oyibo.