Hadley Wood & Wingate 7 - 4 Ware Sports
By Khalid Karimullah
Hadley Wood & Wingate continued their fine form at the Harry Abrahams Stadium against a Ware Sports outfit who would have been amused leaving Summers Lane without even a point, despite scoring four goals in an eleven-goal thriller.
It was the visitors who started the brightest, Billy Skinner found himself away in on goal before firing a shot which Ross Weinrabe did well to palm away. Then from having a chance, to gaining an assist, Skinner played a pass into the path of Charlie Smith who shot across the diving keeper to give Ware the lead after just nine minutes played.
Not long after, the hosts began to get a foothold in the game. Leon Fisher, Rob Laney and Joe Foley combined with a flowing move prior to the latter's pass finding Jack Read, who just fired his effort over from inside the area. On 28 minutes, with the impetus in favour of the home side, Fisher found himself with a one-on-one opportunity, before finishing well past Freddie Salmon.
In the space of just two minutes, Hadley Wood soon found themselves leading. Laney looked after possession well before his endeavoured run found Read inside the area, who made no mistake finding the bottom corner. Weinrabe then made a good save from close range to deny Hazeez Ekeolore to keep his side leading, before a Mason Ellis free-kick was also saved as it bounced just in front of the shot-stopper.
With the half-time whistle about to be blown, Foley played a diagonal pass into the path of Read, who's arrowed strike looking for the bottom corner forced a good save from Salmon. A minute later, Laney and Read combined, before the latters' shot from just inside the area was blocked.
The break didn't disrupt the flow of the game after Karl Stevenson made a bombarding run up the right flank, though his dangerous cross just evaded Laney making intelligent movement to the near post. Soon after, a spell of eight minutes saw five goals being shared either way. With 52 minutes on the clock, a well worked corner saw Fisher with space on the edge of the box, prior to his cutting pass finding Emmanuel Mafuta sliding in at the back post.
The visitors never gave up and continued to graft, which brought about a free-kick from near 25 yards. Ellis stepped up again, though this time ensured he grabbed himself a goal after hitting a delightful set-piece past Weinrabe. The home support were left frustrated with the next attack of the game, after Ekeolore burst into the box before seeing his powerful hit find the near corner for 3-3.
Provider then turned goalscorer, after Laney's run was picked out by a quick taken free-kick from Fisher, the forward placed his effort into the far corner. Then with just over an hour played, Foley's cross from the left channel found Laney, who ensured he grabbed a double with a looping header at the near post which found its way over Salmon.
Cameron Lyttle was soon introduced into the foray, and after bursting with energy to perform, he did well to get to the by-line and find Laney who's bouncing header was saved. With Fisher bringing energy to his performance, the powerful midfielder then danced his way into the box from the edge of the area, prior to rounding the keeper and placing his shot over the line.
Ellis' near 25 yards hit then swerved as it made its way through to Weinrabe, who did well to see the danger denied. With the scoreline at 6-3, Ware ensured the hosts didn't have a comfortable evening, as Skinner made a run inside right channel before seeing his shot hit the back of the net.
With the last significant action of the game, Josh Grantham played a cutting pass into the feet of Laney, who grabbed his perfect hat-trick, scoring this time with his left foot as he also rounded the keeper before passing the ball into an empty net.
Hadley Wood & Wingate now find themselves in second place in the Herts Senior County League, just one point off the top.
Report by Khalid Karimullah
Hadley Wood & Wingate:
1) Ross Weinrabe
2) Connor Ferguson
3) Khalil Zakkour → Cameron Lyttle 63''
4) Elijah Gabsi → 58'' → Wilson Chingoka 76''
5) Bradley Marriot
6) Emmanuel Mafuta
7) Karl Stevenson
8) Leon Fisher → Booked 26''
9) Rob Laney (c)
10) Jack Read
11) Joe Foley → Josh Grantham 70''
12) Wilson Chingoka
13) Charlie Harris
14) Frankie Webb
15) Cameron Lyttle
16) Josh Grantham
Ware Sports FC:
1) Freddie Salmon
2) Callum Bennison
3) Mitchell Judge
4) Nick Davey
5) Ashley Thompson → Booked 51''
6) Mason Ellis
7) Billy Skinner
8) Rayston Whyte
9) Charlie Smith
10) Hazeez Ekeolore
11) Matteo Calvino → Sion Hardy 57''
12) James Page
14) Sion Hardy
15) Aaron Crockett
Referee: Andy O'Brian