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Dagenham & Redbridge
Hayes Lane, Tue 24th Jan @ 7:45 pm
The Ravens hosted fellow promotion pushers Dagenham and Redbridge for a Tuesday night encounter beneath the Hayes Lane lights, with the Daggers coming into the fixture having won their last three trips away from home, and gunning to reclaim their position in seventh place. Andy Woodman’s men looked to extend their five game unbeaten streak at home in front of the Bromley faithfuls – this was confirmed thanks to a late Ben Krauhaus equaliser.
Louis Dennis kick-started the game, and it was Dagenham and Redbridge that raced out of the blocks, with their bright spells of possession cancelling out the chill of the evening. It wasn’t until the 14th minute of the game that the first real chance was presented to either side, with Bromley’s Corey Whitely threading a luscious through ball to Harry Forster, one that the silky winger couldn’t quite latch on to.
Dag and Red full-back Joshua Hare certainly made his presence known, with the constant crosses testing Bromley’s back-line.
By the 25 minute mark, it was clear that Bromley had grown into the game, and James Vennings expressed his confidence with a fake shot that sold a few in blue and red, but the vital midfield cog could not conjure up a shot to test the Daggers’ number one Elliot Justham.
Michael Cheek won the Ravens a corner around the half hour mark, with an ambitious effort, but one that the number nine had every right to attempt after his brace against Aldershot on Saturday. Shortly after, a rash challenge from Forster halted a Daggers counter attack and the winger went into the book for the first yellow card of the game.
A snippet of brilliant build up play from the visitors saw Dean Rance’s long range effort fly narrowly over the crossbar of Reice Charles-Cook, after some Junior Morias skill and a majestic dummy from skipper Matthew Robinson freed up the space for the number four to try his luck.
A soft foul given against Bromley captain Byron Webster in the 37th minute provided Dag and Red with the chance to take the lead through a free kick. Dangerous number two Hare stepped up to take, and his fast moving ball flew through the box, evading everyone and nestling into the Bromley net to grant the Daggers a deserved lead.
An effort from recent signing Besart Topalloj that found the side netting was followed by the referee’s whistle, signalling the end of a disappointing half for the Ravens.
The fourth official’s board at the start of the second half indicated a half time change from Bromley boss Andy Woodman, that saw Forster make way for academy product Krauhaus, with the youngster impressing in recent fixtures.
Bromley reversed the roles on the Daggers in the first minutes of the half, controlling the possession and occasionally troubling Justham between the sticks. A big chance arose in the 60th minute when a brilliant ball from Vennings poked a hole in the Dagenham defence, allowing Kellen Fisher to drill a ball into the box, which was stolen away from the boots of Cheek and turned behind for a corner.
A penalty appeal for the Ravens was dismissed by the referee a minute later as a Vennings cross appeared to strike the hand of a Dagenham defender, and another controversy followed, as fans roared for a free kick on the edge of the box after Billy Bingham was pulled down; the appeals were to no avail, as the referee seemed adamant to award nothing in Bromley’s favour.
Woodman opted for the bench again in the 65th minute as Bromley’s top scorer Adam Marriott replaced Whitely to try and upset the cart, and add to the Ravens’ lacking attacking threat. Five minutes later, Dutch spark Mitchell Berkgamp was incorporated into Bromley’s attack, replacing Bingham in an attempt to salvage something out of the game.
Berkgamp ignited his flame when a brilliant move from the Bromley Boys saw the number 14 take it on the half turn, but he could not force Justham into a save.
Dagenham danger man Junior Morias, who has netted eight in the league this season, made way for the notorious Paul McCallum around the 80 minute mark, but Bromley strived to claw themselves back into the game, launching attacks whenever possible.
Following a clash between Omar Sowunmi and Josh Walker, play resumed, and merely a matter of seconds later, an instinctive swing from Bromley starlet Krauhaus drew Woodman’s men level, sparking the home end into an eruption of cheers, and instilling the feeling that the Ravens could go onto win the game. A 90th minute Berkgamp cross into the box found the head of Marriott, who cushioned the ball into the net, but the linesman’s raised flag struck the effort from the scoresheet, much to the disappointment of the Bromley faithful.
Wave after wave of Bromley attack followed, with Dennis seeing his rocket fly narrowly wide of Justham’s post, before the Bromley winger whipped a ball into the box that found the head of Marriott, but a comfortable save awaited the Dag and Red number one.
Despite Bromley’s push for the three points, one point awaited both sides, seeing the Ravens elevated to sixth in the league standings, with Daryl McMahon’s men one place below in seventh.
Next up, Scunthorpe away on Saturday.