Bromley hosted play-off pushing Halifax Town this Saturday for the latest instalment of the National League, with the Ravens seeking revenge for the 2-0 defeat dished out to them by the West Yorkshire side on the opening day of the season. The Shaymen’s four-game winning streak foreshadowed a closely contested game – a breathtaking brace from Corey Whitely tipped the affair in Bromley’s favour. 

Ben Krauhaus initiated proceedings, and it took Bromley mere seconds to threaten. A drilled Josh Passley corner looked to be fizzling out, but a nodded header from captain Byron Webster reignited the spark for Michael Cheek – the striker’s flashed effort across the face of goal spiralled agonisingly out of play. 

A misjudged leap from Besart Topalloj ten minutes in left the full back with no choice but to pull back his man, gifting Halifax a free kick in a dangerous position. An unmarked Jamie Stott on the edge of the area ought to have done better from Luke Summerfield’s whipped cross, as the number six watched his header fly wide of the post. 

An exhibition of tricky dribbling by Andrew Oluwabori down the left-hand side culminated in Summerfield picking up the ball on the edge of the Bromley area; the number four’s tame effort posed no threat to Grant Smith, trickling wide. 

Intelligent forward play from Cheek under pressure provided the chance for his strike partner Olufela Olomola to put the Ravens ahead – a goalmouth scramble saw the ball fall perfectly at the feet of Olomola, who could not direct his shot on target, dragging wide from close range. 

The deadly duo were involved again seconds later, as Cheek’s floating ball into the box planted itself onto the head of Olomola; a magnificent Sam Johnson save to tip over the crossbar denied the number 29 from notching his tenth league goal of the season.  

The deadlock was finally smashed wide open on 38 minutes – a hammering strike from magician Whitely from 25 yards out dismantled the brick wall of a helpless Johnson between the sticks, boosting the Ravens ahead. 

Whitely’s mesmerising strike seemingly reenergised Andy Woodman’s men, and chances flooded thick and fast for the home side – Whitely continued to torment Halifax’s backline, beating his man, before firing towards a hungry Cheek lurking around the penalty spot; the goalscorer’s cross failed to evade the sea of blue shirts. Callum Reynolds couldn’t believe he hadn’t scored himself moments later, after his stab from point-blank range found itself thwarted by an outstretched leg on the goal line. 

The second half picked up where the first had left off, with chances falling in abundance for the hosts – it took a single minute for Whitely to double both his tally for the game and his side’s lead, after a loose ball fell to the number 18 just outside the box. If anyone had any doubts about the Bromley winger’s ability to hit one from range, they certainly didn’t last for long, as the virtuoso’s hurtling rocket battered the top left-hand corner of the Halifax goal. 

Halifax danger man Oluwabori came close to narrowing the Ravens’ lead, as his agile movement crafted him the space to head towards goal from Summerfield’s cross, but his attempt reaped no rewards for his side, falling behind for a goal kick.  

Just when you think you’ve seen it all from Krauhaus, he whips something else out of his magic hat – the crossbar cruelly denied the young star of a goal of the season contender, as the number 28 blasted a dipping volley towards Johnson, rendering the number one completely defenceless, with only the woodwork coming to his rescue as the ball cannoned off it. 

Both sides ended the game with ten men, after both Topalloj and Adan George were shown red. 

The referee’s whistle concluded a vital three points for Bromley, allowing them to retain their second-place spot in the National League table, whilst Halifax’s play-off hopes will have taken a dent, seeing them remain in 8th place. Next up, we face Barnet at home in the FA Trophy quarter finals next Saturday. 

Attendance: 2,809 (85 away)

Written by Daniel Catlin

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