Heybridge Swifts notched up a win a basement dwellers Ware thanks to a opening minute goal from Luke Callander. Match Report courtesy of Ware-fc.co.uk
AFTER blowing the points in a must-win home game, Ware prop up the Ryman League Division One North standings with eight games to play.
In the polar opposite of the reverse fixture at Heybridge in November, when Swifts nicked a 1-0 win in the last minute, the Essex side walked through and scored after just 41 seconds at Wodson Park, and withstood a large amount of pressure in the second half to claim all three points once again.
With Vince Rispoli beginning a three-match suspension after collecting his third red card of the season at AFC Sudbury, Dave Bastian shifted back across to a central-defensive position, with Jordan Bostock starting at right-back after returning to the fold as an unused substitute on Saturday following a prolonged absence.
Another old face returning after nearly three months was Jon Stevenson, who limped off after 25 minutes with a hamstring injury, having been thrown up top as part of a three-pronged strike force in a 4-3-3 formation.
Heybridge captain Luke Callander opened the scoring within a minute of kick-off, making it look easy as he strolled past several defenders on the edge of the Ware box before firing low into the bottom corner of the net.
For Ware, Murat Karagul latched onto Tom Querry’s ball out of the defence, his shot-on-the-turn forcing a low stop from Swifts goalkeeper Jason Willis.
Heybridge’s Jack West sent a snap-shot wide of the post on five minutes, before Stevenson fired over the bar at the other end after Michael Akande flicked on Lewis Rolfe’s free kick.
Moments later, Jon Edwards passed to West, but the Swifts striker dragged his shot across the face of goal after slipping away from his marker.
Akande made an excellent covering tackle to prevent Tom Broadhurst going through one-on-one with the keeper, before Stevenson spooned the ball over the bar following a first-time cross from Bostock.
That proved to be the end of Stevenson’s night as he landed awkwardly and was subsequently replaced by winger Aime Blessing as the hosts reverted back to 4-4-2.
On 29 minutes, Swifts keeper Willis had to back-pedal to catch Laurence Rispoli’s up-and-under header, while shortly before half-time at the other end, Callander headed over from point blank range following Broadhurst’s corner.
Ware emerged for the second half with renewed energy, although a succession of hold-ups for various players’ injuries, coupled with their inability to deliver more than the odd good cross, meant they were largely frustrated in their attempts to get back into the game.
On 47 minutes, Tom Querry’s ball in from the left caused problems for the Swifts defence, presenting substitute Blessing with a golden chance to score, but the winger shot straight at Willis with the goal gaping.
The hard-working Lewis Rolfe found Jamie Richards with a diagonal ball in the 52nd minute, but the veteran striker’s shot was blocked at the near post, although any breach of Heybridge’s goal wouldn’t have counted as the linesman’s flag was raised.
Ware changed their formation again when striker Jon Shiels replaced Bostock in the 63rd minute, but despite having more of the possession, the home side were unable to fashion any clear-cut chances as Heybridge clung on to secure all three points.
Full Time: Ware 0 - 1 Heybridge Swifts
With thanks to Ware Football Club for Match Report