Bromley beckoned a struggling Oxford City side for a showery Saturday confrontation, with the visitors only managing one win in their last nine games prior to the encounter, and off the back of a soul-shattering defeat to Scarborough Athletic to spiral out of the FA Cup. The story could not be more different for the Ravens, who boasted an incredible record of only one defeat in 14 games, eight of these resulting in all three points.

Ben Krauhaus kick-started proceedings, and it took the hosts less than sixty seconds to conjure up their first chance of the game, after a clever through ball from Alex Kirk allowed Josh Passley to pierce the red and white backline, before the fullback crossed towards the six yard box; Michael Cheel’s header narrowly evaded the back of the net.

It wasn’t long before Bromley had a second bite at the cherry – a lofted through ball from Besart Topalloj guided itself perfectly towards the feet of recent signing Olufela Olumola, whose exquisite touch granted him the opportunity to steer past a defenceless Chris Haigh for his first goal in black and white.

Bromley thought they had doubled their lead on ten minutes, after a lengthy dribble from Krauhaus culminated in Cheek being slipped in behind; the linesman’s raised flag denied the prolific goalscorer from notching his eighth of the season.

Oxford City drew level twenty minutes in, after a clumsy challenge from Deji Elerewe saw captain Josh Parker calmly dispatch his penalty past Grant Smith.

Minutes later, a floating Krauhaus free kick resulted in Oxford City’s Haigh being called into action – Alex Kirk’s looping header was met by a spectacular fingertip save from the number one to divert the ball over the crossbar.

Andy Woodman’s men should have gone 2-1 up half an hour in, after a calamitous series of events came to an end when the ball fell perfectly for winger Corey Whitely on the edge of the box; the number 18’s low driven effort somehow missed the target.

Bromley continued to ask questions of the visitors’ defence, and had penalty appeals waved away by the referee on the stroke of half time, following an alleged handball in the Oxford City penalty area.

Half time saw Woodman opt for a double substitution, with Kirk and Sam Woods making way for Todd Miller and Lewis Leigh. Miller demonstrated his presence instantly, after his overlapping run and low cross provided Cheek with a golden opportunity in front of goal; the number nine struggled to find his feet, and the ball trickled out of play.

Miller continued to threaten, engaging in a evenly matched encounter with right back Joe Wilson, and 65 minutes in, the tricky winger projected a cross towards the six yard box – Whitely’s header required a firm hand from Haigh to deny.

Haigh couldn’t keep Bromley out for long, however, after a goalmouth scramble saw Olumola etch his name into the scoresheet for the second time, boosting the Ravens ahead.

Luscious link up play from Miller and Krauhaus nearly gave Bromley their third of the afternoon – Krauhaus’ eventual cross found itself audaciously flicked goal-bound by Whitely. Haigh had little time to react, but somehow managed to keep the Ravens from extending their lead.

Despite the scoreline, Haigh continued to impress, and produced yet another miraculous save to keep out Elerewe with only ten minutes to play.

The Hoops carved out an intricate chance five minutes before the death, as Parker came close to achieving a brace; the outstretched foot of Smith was the only thing that kept the visitors from snatching two points off the hosts. Latrell Humphrey-Ewers tried his luck from range seconds later, but the number 20’s effort was a tame one, not troubling the Bromley number one.

Substitute Louis Dennis added the cherry on top of a heavily important three points for the Ravens – his ferocious long-range shot nestled into the bottom left hand corner, applying the final nail into the Oxford City coffin.

The referee’s full time whistle confirmed another three points for the Ravens, propelling them to 4th place in the National League table, whilst Oxford City continue to struggle, slumped in 21st place, fighting against the horror of relegation. Up next, we host Dorking Wanderers on Tuesday night.

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