South Park 1 Ware 6
By Stephen King
Away run continues as Ware move up to sixth in the table.
There were a few changes to Ware's starting line-up after the midweek win over Hertford. As expected Gareth Madden returned to duty in the back four now that his head injury is clearing up but with Ben Hart not so lucky Frazer John made a start on the right wing. Meanwhile Tom Bruno was given his first start since joining whilst Alaa Oujdi came in at left back with both Williams Danquah and Bradley Fraser held up in traffic.
Both sides were looking to continue winning sequences and the early stages of the game reflected this parallel desire in some end to end football. As early as the second minute the home side forced a corner but no sooner was the danger cleared than Ware were on the attack with Brandon Adams firing across the six yard area and Albert Adu just too late to capitalise.
Ten minutes later the home side had their best chance thus far when Oujdi was brushed off the ball which was then driven across the face of the Ware goal with no-one on hand to convert. Ware immediately attacked from the restart and Adams was put through but with one defender in attendance and Michael Eacott coming out of his goal his lob over the keeper was too high to find the net.
With the game still ebbing one way then another there was no surprise that Park went straight down the other end and Great Evans was only denied by Calum Kitscha coming out of goal to divert his effort for a corner. Evans has been the main spring of South Park's recent revival and it was not difficult to see why he has scored eight goals in his side's last eight games. He's powerful and fast which enables him to exploit long balls for him to chase but as the game wore on his threat lessened as the Ware defence took his measure.
Ware made a breakthrough just past the mid point of the half. Dave Cowley's corner was met by Madden though he was unable to give it the necessary momentum to find the net. Instead the ball looped to John who, with a deft flick from a yard out, lifted the ball beyond Eacott and his defence to give Ware the lead.
This heralded a period of Ware dominance as they moved the ball around well and the home side found it more difficult to get forward. One Ware attack was ended with a free kick on the edge of the Park area just a minute from the break. Cowley lined up his kick, placing it low beyond the wall to bounce in front of Eacott who will probably feel he should have done better than allow the ball under his body to extend Ware's lead.
The two goal lead didn't last much beyond the start of the second half. Oujdi had the ball but was clipped as he feinted past his opponent, he continued for a few steps before slowing and then dropping to the ground. Park took possession and with Ware claiming a foul and then regaining possession there was a degree of confusion.
Hindsight says the ball should have been played into touch but instead it was lost and the eventual cross into the Ware area was not dealt with well by the defence. Charlie Pitcher was there to score and lift spirits in the home side.
It took just four minutes for Ware to re-establish their two-goal lead. Bruno's free kick into the home area was beautifully judged and there was Madden to head firmly into the net. But if visiting supporters thought this had sealed the game they were wrong and the home side continued to press for another goal.
For a while it looked possible for them to make a game of it but Ware weathered the storm and slowly gained ascendancy. A Cowley volley was just over the bar and Adams shot high before Eacott saved another Adams effort and then somehow diverted Adu's follow up onto the bar.
The dam burst on 73 minutes with Adams working hard for an opening on the left and then putting a cross over just beyond the far post where Adu rose to head home. Ten minutes later Adams scored from his own assist as he played the ball past a defender but with Adu, looking like the intended recipient, seemingly offside Adams went past the wrong-footed defence before collecting the ball and shooting beyond Eacott as he came from goal.
Adams made his third assist with a minute of normal time left. Breaking into the South Park area Eacott came out to close him down but the number nine laid a perfect pass across box into Adu's path and the sixth goal was a formality.
Paul Halsey was naturally pleased with his team even though he was disappointed with the way the goal was conceded. However that could not hide the fact that his team now move up to one place off the play-offs. They do, though, have a tough game waiting for them at Wodson Park next Saturday when Westfield are the visitors.
Ware: Calum Kitscha, Charlie Yexley, Alaa Oujdi (Williams Danquah 47mins), Tom Bruno (Jack Daveney 75mins), Louis Rose, Gareth Madden, Frazer John (Jordon Watson 69mins), Leigh Rose, Brandon Adams, Albert Adu, Dave Cowley. Unused subs: Bradley Fraser, Harry Norman.