Ware 3 Marlow 0
By Stephen King
Floodgates open as Ware record best league win in eighteen months.
This was an exciting and entertaining encounter between two teams that put their all into the contest. Marlow came to Wodson Park with an unbeaten record and just one goal against. Ware on the other hand have struggled to put games to bed recently and have looked vulnerable at the back.
With such daunting omens the ultimate result was a real fillip and brought only the second victory under current manager Paul Halsey. After this game he will be a little less worried about what he admitted when he took over the job was a probationary period. Another home game comes this Saturday and this performance should have raised morale as Ware seek to maintain their unbeaten home record in the league.
Ware did have Dave Cowley back for this game but on the debit side they were without Dom Njoya. Billy Baird stepped into the breach at left back and proved again that this might be his best position as he kept Marlow's Allen Bossman under control.
Bradley Fraser was also missing from the starting line up with Gareth Madden dropping into the back four and Josh Oyibo coming in to midfield. It looked as though the loss of Madden in midfield could be a handicap but Cowley, Oyibo and Albert Adu controlled matters for the most part with the last two putting in a good defensive shift.
None of this is to say that Marlow weren't a force in this game and they were constantly looking to engineer openings. For a period in the first half and towards the end of the game they looked as though they might just do it; but too often they lacked a telling final ball and on the night the home defence held firm to earn their first clean sheet of the league season.
Meanwhile Ware were finding more chances up front especially feeding balls out wide for Ben Hart to run at the Marlow defence. And yet the opening goal came from Leigh Rose's 4th minute cross from the right which took a slight deflection off a defender's head before reaching Hart who was in the middle of the area. His left foot shot gave Simon Grant in the Marlow goal little chance and Ware were off to a good start.
It was certainly a boost to Ware who worked well in attack for pretty much the rest of the game, always looking likely to open up the Marlow defence. They did so again after 30 minutes when Marlow failed to clear a ball in the area and Cowley was on hand to steer the ball home with ease.
Any fear that the second half might see a different pattern of play was pretty much eliminated two minutes in. Hart's corner from the right was cleared back to him so he tried again with a higher ball that dropped towards the six yard box by the far post. Leigh Rose was there to head it down and into the net with a defender trying unsuccessfully to clear from the line. Rose's second league goal of the season was a reward for his hard work up front through this and earlier matches.
Despite this apparently clinching goal the game lost none of its competitive edge and on another night Marlow might had some reward for their efforts whilst Ware might have extended their lead especially when Adu was through and only denied at the last moment by Grant.
Ware: Anthony Page, Harry Norman, Billy Baird, Josh Oyibo (Harley Haag 77mins), Louis Rose, Gareth Madden, Ben Hart (Callum Taylor 78mins), Jason Brown, Leigh Rose, Albert Adu, Dave Cowley (Jack Daveney 63mins). Unused subs: Bradley Fraser, Michael Bardle.