Sat 21
Biggleswade Town
1st Team
S Sambou (23')
O Akinsanya (16' Pen), L Rose (57')
Biggleswade Town 1 Ware 2

Biggleswade Town 1 Ware 2

By Stephen King
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Eleventh undefeated game brings best ever start to a season as Ware move on in the FA Cup.

Ware have never before opened a season with eleven undefeated games, the best having been back in 1963 when a run of ten games was ended by a heavy defeat to Barnet in the same stage of the FA Cup as today's game. There was to be no repeat of that as Ware rose to the occasion to take the honours with a disciplined display.

With Liam Hope unavailable Alaa Oujdi was moved to the number nine position whilst Patrick Adamson came back in at left back allowing Williams Danquah to take Oujdi's number 11 shirt.

It wasn't a great day for football with the recent September sun leaving the pitch hard and the wind making control difficult. The first half saw both teams trying to make the most of the conditions but it wasn't easy.

The home side relied too much on long balls which, with the wind behind them, did little more than provide Ware with throw-ins or goal kicks. That said Calum Kitscha did need to be alert nine minutes in to save with his feet as his team mates appealed in vain for offside against a home forward.

Kitscha was in action again after quarter of an hour to deny Sean Lucien and then initiate a Ware reply that led to the opening goal. Ware broke forward and Olu Akinsanya did well to hold the ball up before laying it back for the approaching Jordon Watson who was upended in the penalty area as he took the ball towards goal. Akinsanya took the spot kick and gave Sam Donkin no chance in the Biggleswade goal.

Although Ware were strong and forcing a number of corners the game was still very even with the home side pressing hard when they did get on the end of those long balls. Midway through the half Biggleswade got back into the game when Solomon Sambou cut in from the left and shot powerfully into the net as the Ware defence parted.

The initiative lay briefly with the home side after this but it was still all to play for and on the half hour Leigh Rose won the ball in midfield and played it wide to Adamson. His cross found Akinsanya but the shot was saved.

The question after the break was would Biggleswade have better luck with their long ball approach now that they were playing against the wind? They certainly started to apply pressure as they played the ball around the edge of the Ware area looking for an opening. It didn't come and they again resorted to long balls that, even against the wind, too often went out of play.

Ware were beginning to look confident and retook the lead when they forced a corner just before the hour mark. Tom Bruno's kick was lifted just beyond the far post where Leigh Rose imitated his name to climb above the defence and head Ware's second goal.

From this point onwards Biggleswade looked devoid of a real plan whilst Ware carved out a couple of opportunities that if taken would have sealed the win. Williams Danquah did well to win the ball and fire across the home penalty area but the ball was scrambled away and shortly after, Oujdi pulled the ball back only for Bruno to shoot over.

That was almost Oujdi's last involvement as he was withdrawn from play in favour of Kardan Campbell as Ware sought to shore up the midfield. But if Ware went a little more defensive minded Biggleswade did the opposite with ten minutes to go. Centre back Tom Smith was withdrawn and Ruben Soares was brought on.

It fired the home side up and there was a fair amount of pressure for Ware to soak up but as Biggleswade pushed forward there were inevitable gaps in their defence. This was nearly exploited three minutes from the end when Akinsanya was set free, turned inside his defender but had his shot saved by Donkin who came out quickly to frustrate the Ware man.

The home side might have capitalised on that with just 30 seconds of normal time left. A powerful free kick from just outside the Ware area looked goal bound until Watson got his head to it and it ricocheted across the pitch to safety. It was typical of another hard working performance from Watson and his team mates as Ware moved into the next round.

Ware: Calum Kitscha, Harry Norman, Patrick Adamson, Leigh Rose, Louis Rose, Dan Rumens, Jordon Watson, Tom Bruno, Alaa Oujdi (Kardan Campbell 68mins), Olu Akinsanya, Williams Danquah. Unused subs: Tom Boxer, Harry Watkins, Dajour Buffonge, Tobi Adekunle, Gareth Madden, Charlie Crowley.

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Match details

Match date

Sat 21, Sep 2019






The Emirates FA Cup 19-20