VCD Athletic 1 Ware 3
By Stephen King
Two new scorers as Ware move on to the next round of the FA Trophy.
Two early goals in quick succession gave Ware the platform from which to build their first ever win over VCD Athletic and took them to the 2nd Qualifying Round of the FA Trophy for the first time since 2007.
Evandro Delgado was added to the list of absentees as he waited in vain for a return flight from Luxembourg but Ware are beginning to look a very useful combination beyond any concept of a first eleven. The players on duty rarely put a foot wrong.
The only blemish was the goal conceded immediately before the final whistle and it was Ken Charlery's only cause for complaint. Other than that he expressed himself more than pleased with the outcome.
The game began with the home side having marginally the better of things but that all changed in the ninth minute. Mekhi McLeod laid the ball in to Joe Reynolds whose pass forward had just the right weight for Gareth Price, ghosting in from the left, to run on to and shoot past the advancing Niklas Freund in the home goal.
Less than two minutes later the lead was doubled as Aston Goss was through just in time to round Freund and shoot for goal from a tight angle. The ball was cleared but Price, who was destined to have another good game, was closing down from the left and the ball ricocheted off his body to Ryan Hervel on the other side of the home penalty area. His shot struck at least one defender and there was McLeod to pick up the pieces and score from short range for his first Ware goal.
The rest of the half saw VCD continue to have plenty of possession but it was wasted. Free kicks, corners and long throw-ins were all dealt with by Kyle Forster in the Ware goal. The visitors were content to bide their time but when they did go forward they looked the more likely to score.
After 35 minutes McLeod was knocked down in the area but the referee was having none of it and waved play on whilst three minutes later Price, always a threat waiting on either wing, fired across the front of the home goal to cause problems in the defence.
As the half came towards its end McLeod's run down the right brought a corner that came to nothing whilst an attack down the left saw Goss go down in a challenge with Freund. Again the referee was unmoved but within a minute was booking Price for a tackle that seemed innocuous. This seems to be happening a lot lately with Ware players so it may just be your correspondent who is making the misjudgement. Either way Price will be suspended for next Saturday's game at Waltham Abbey.
The second half might have been expected to see VCD re-energised but they never had as much possession as they did in the first period. The Ware defence looked to be in control whilst Price and McLeod were the instigators behind several incisive attacks.
Goss brought a good save out of Freund after 52 minutes to win a corner but with McLeod lurking near the penalty spot he might have done better to pass. With 15 minutes to go Goss was wide with a rasping shot but got it right five minutes later. He took the ball to the by line before firing across to the six yard area where Tom Bradbury was waiting to turn it in for his first goal for the club.
Late into added time a long range shot was turned over the bar by Forster and it was from the corner that VCD captain Derek Duncan was able to force the ball home for a consolation goal. There was only enough time to kick off before Ware were able to celebrate and ponder who they might get in the next round.
Ware: Kyle Forster, Jack Mace, Luis Fernandes, Ryan Hervel, Tom Bradbury, Murat Karagul, Aston Goss, Joe Reynolds, Brian Haule, Gareth Price (Josh Oyibo 77mins), Mekhi McLeod (Dani Ladeira 87 mins). Unused subs: Finley Long, James Mays, Joe Simmonds.