Tue 17
1st Team
Harlow Town
L Hope (31'), (51'), O Akinsanya (46'), (93')
M Rush (72')
Ware 4 Harlow Town 1

Ware 4 Harlow Town 1

By Stephen King
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Ware rise into the play-off places with a fifth consecutive victory.

This was another hard game with Ware squeezing out four goals from a tough Harlow side that had earned a draw with joint leaders Tooting & Mitcham on Saturday. For Ware this result meant they had beaten the then fifth and sixth placed clubs in successive games.

Paul Halsey announced the same starting line up for this game as he had for Saturday's win but traffic problems delayed Tom Boxer's arrival so new signing Dan Rumens was promoted from the bench for his debut in the back line. He didn't disappoint in a good performance that was maintained for the whole ninety minutes even though he hadn't had a first team game since August 17th.

Once again Ware worked hard chasing the ball and closing down opponents and seemed to be getting the upper hand in the opening period. The first real chance for either side came after 19 minutes when Louis Rose on the left crossed into the six yard area where somehow Olu Akinsanya miscued wide from what looked a good chance just a few feet in front of goal.

Ware might have rued that miss as Harlow started to dominate possession and had their best period of the game either side of the midpoint in the half. Ware dropped into their familiar habit in these circumstances, pumping balls forward only to find them gathered by the tall visiting defenders and a new attack started.

Eventually however Ware regained some control of midfield and Harlow's threat diminished though not before one last opportunity on the half hour mark that required Calum Kitscha to be alert to a ball down the middle. He was out and diving at the feet of an attacker on the very edge of his box. The keeper's hands blocked the ball but forced it out of the penalty area with an open goal begging but Kitscha was back on his feet and the first to reach it and clear.

It was one of those turning points as the home side took the play up field with a ball to Alaa Oujdi on the left. His cross into the six yard area was forced home by Liam Hope with the visiting defence caught napping.

Five minutes later Oujdi could have done better when he was set up by Jordon Watson. The number 11 chased down Watson's through ball and a right foot shot seemed on with just Josh Bexon to beat but Oujdi took a couple more steps to get a position for his favoured left foot only to shoot weakly.

The miss was forgotten when for the third game running Ware scored in the dying moments of the half. With the 45 minutes up Tom Bruno swung a free kick from the left into the six yard box to find Akinsanya again but this time there was no mistake as Ware's top scorer bundled the ball over the line.

The second half was just six minutes old when Ware sealed the points. Oujdi was involved again, this time under pressure he sent a cross over to the near post where Hope duelled for the ball with Elwin Larty, getting enough of a touch to deflect the ball onto Larty's head and from there into the goal.

The game had got away from Harlow and their play started to suggest that they knew it. Ware might have thought so too so perhaps it wasn't surprising that a casual ball was played out of their defence straight to an opponent. The immediate chance wasn't taken but the ball stayed around the Ware penalty area until Matthew Rush's shot from its edge gave Kitscha no chance.

With just under 20 minutes left Harlow sensed their chances weren't yet done and they upped their performance and commitment levels. But Ware were not seriously troubled and applied a coup de grace in the third minute of added time.

Bruno sent a looping pass forward that was ideal for Akinsanya to run on to but also caught Harlow's Samson Doherty wrong footed. The defender adjusted as best he could but the ball was past him and quickly followed by Akinsanya. With just Bexon to beat he had no trouble completing the scoring.

It was hard on Doherty who had shadowed Akinsanya closely throughout the game. Too closely perhaps as words were exchanged after the goal and there was one of those kerfuffles involving a number of players when the final whistle went no more than a minute later; a disappointing end to another entertaining game.

Ware: Calum Kitscha, Harry Norman, Williams Danquah, Dan Rumens, Louis Rose, Tom Bruno, Jordon Watson, Leigh Rose, Liam Hope (Harry Watkins 74mins), Olu Akinsanya, Alaa Oujdi (Tobi Adekunle 78mins). Unused subs: Tom Boxer, Kardan Campbell, Dajour Buffonge.

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Match details

Match date

Tue 17, Sep 2019






South Central Division

League position

Harlow Town