Aylesbury United remain firmly in a relegation dogfight in Division One Central after Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Ware.
The Ducks had lifted themselves four points clear of the bottom two thanks to a crucial 2-1 win against rivals Leighton Town last Wednesday.
A superb Bruno Brito volley separated the sides at the interval following a tight first half, and Aylesbury kept their visitors at bay until eight minutes from time when the Reds scored through Ben Gallant.
However, just three minutes later, Lea Coulter popped up to head home a cross and secure three vital points.
But while United were losing on Saturday, Leighton pulled off an impressive win at Beaconsfield to claw back to within a point of the Ducks as the two locked in a battle to avoid the second relegation spot with bottom side North Greenford seven points adrift.
Against Ware, it was Aylesbury who had the first two shots on goal when first a curling effort from Brito was caught by Tom Coulton, and then Sonny French’s low drive was also safely held.
The first half saw few clear-cut chances as Murat Karagul shot wide and Ducks keeper Zaki Oualah saved well from Dernell Wynter, while Chris Crook couldn’t turn home Jake Bewley’s free-kick at the other end as United ended the half strongly but couldn’t make the breakthrough.
Barely a minute into the second half and Aylesbury had a glorious chance to open the scoring when Bewley’s cross fell to a Coulter but he got his first-time hit all wrong and the ball flew high and wide.
Aylesbury had given a good account of themselves to that point, but on 53 minutes, Ware broke the deadlock when Crook made a horrible mess of dealing with a long ball, presenting it straight to Kieran Bishop who had no problem taking it beyond Oualah and finding the back of the net.
Nine minutes later and the game was put out of Aylesbury’s reach as Karagul was on hand to score after Bishop was unable to beat Oualah.
In fairness, Aylesbury kept plugging away and pulled one goal back when Owen’s free-kick was headed back across goal by Wood for Stacey Field to volley into the corner.
Wood and Coulter both had half chances to level in the remaining 17 minutes but it wasn’t to be as Ware held on for the points, condemning United to a 19th defeat of the season.
Aylesbury host high-flying Kings Langley this weekend.