Bromley beckoned a relegation-threatened York City side this Saturday, with three points the only thing on either side’s mind. The hosts rolled into the fixture off the back of a crucial 1-0 win away at Wealdstone last Tuesday night, courtesy of yet another Michael Cheek strike, extending his side’s unbeaten streak to five games. The visitors could not boast the same impressive feat, having won only one out of their last nine games.

Ben Krauhaus kick-started the affair, and it was the visitors that had the first chance of the game – a through ball pierced the heart of the Bromley backline, giving danger man Dipo Akinyemi, who has netted 11 goals in the league this season, the chance to test recent Ravens signing Lewis Thomas in goal. The number nine beat Byron Webster, before firing low and hard; his off-target effort posed no threat.

Andy Woodman found himself forced into a change early on, after Deji Elerewe sustained an injury – Kamarl Grant came on in place of the number three.

Bromley’s first chance of the game came on 20 minutes, when a loose ball fell perfectly at the feet of Louis Dennis. The attacker did not need a second invitation to hit one, striking a half-volley towards goal; a deflection diverted his attempt past the post.

The deadlock of an even game was broken 32 minutes in, after Akinyemi’s driving run down the right-hand side allowed the attacker to cut back to Marvin Armstrong. A chaotic series of shots and blocks commenced – Armstrong’s first attempt was absorbed by a strong hand from Thomas, before the ball was eventually bundled over the line, despite Grant’s desperate attempts to clear.

It did not take long for the Ravens to muster a retaliation, and an outstanding fingertip save from Rory Watson to keep out Michael Cheek’s header was the only thing preventing the prolific striker from notching his 20th league goal of the season from close range.

Watson proved his shot-stopping excellence once more minutes later, after Josh Passley’s teasing corner planted itself onto the head of Grant, whose firm downwards nod seemed destined for the bottom left-hand corner; York’s number 35 miraculously clawed the ball and smothered the danger, keeping the visitors ahead.

Much like the first half, the start of the second half was very evenly matched, and neither side were presented with a clear-cut chance. Corey Whitely tried his luck from range 50 minutes in – dazzling footwork from Passley saw the full-back lay off to Dennis, who teed up his attacking counterpart; Whitely’s strike flew over the crossbar.

The 58th minute saw Andy Woodman opt for a double substitution, with Olufela Olomola and Kido Taylor-Hart replacing Callum Reynolds and Dennis.

Taylor-Hart was quick to introduce himself into proceedings, unleashing a goalbound effort from the edge of the 18-yard box, but a firm hand from Watson denied the substitute.

Nobody in the stadium could believe the Ravens had not drawn level on 75 minutes, when a perfect cut-back to Olomola begged the forward to convert from point-blank range; the number 29’s heavy touched allowed the swarm of red shirts in the area to recover, much to the hosts’ frustration.

Taylor-Hart had certainly added some spice to the Bromley attack since coming on, and his relentless nature presented him with another chance to shoot – the number eight’s mesmerising step-overs allowed him to effortlessly shake off his man, but his fired rocket towards goal dipped narrowly over the crossbar.

The final blow to a lacklustre Bromley side was dealt by Akinyemi with ten minutes to go, after the forward’s blistering pace saw him hunt down a loose ball, before catching Thomas completely off guard, lobbing over the helpless goalkeeper from 25 yards out, sending the travelling away fans into raptures and giving the hosts even more of an uphill mountain to climb.

The referee’s whistle marked a deserved loss for the home side, and the result sees Andy Woodmen’s men remain in third place in the National League table, whilst a huge three points for the Minstermen boosts them out of the relegation zone and into 19th place. Up next, we face Dorking away this Friday.

Written by Daniel Catlin

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