9 December 2023

Ravens progress to next round of FA Trophy

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Ravens progress to next round of FA Trophy

Bromley welcomed National League South side Slough Town for an FA Trophy third round encounter, following the visitors’ 2-1 win against Farnborough, with the Ravens hoping to start off strong in their bid to reclaim their FA Trophy title, after a historic 1-0 win over Wrexham in 2022 brought the trophy to BR2, courtesy of a cool finish from prolific number nine Michael Cheek.

Ben Krauhaus initiated proceedings, and it took less than sixty seconds for the hosts to take the lead – a clever disposal by Cheek on the halfway line allowed the striker to find Louis Dennis on the overlap, whose intricate dribble and cutback granted Ryan Jones the chance to test Slough goalkeeper Dan Lincoln early on. The Ravens number 12 did not disappoint, firing low and hard towards goal, and leaving the ex-Dorking shot-stopper unable to prevent the ball from passing between his legs and into the back of the net.

Slough thought that they had levelled the scoreline five minutes later, after David Ogbonna’s mesmerising stepovers left Besart Topalloj bamboozled, allowing the number 23 to cut inside and fire towards goal. Teddy Sharman-Lowe got down quickly, but could not prevent himself from palming the ball into Nathan Minhas’ path, seeing the forward tuck calmly into the back of the net; the number nine’s celebrations were sliced through by the raised flag of the linesman.

Kido Taylor-Hart came close to doubling Bromley’s lead – the Arsenal loanee’s long-range effort flew through a sea of bodies, but failed to evade the outstretched glove of Lincoln.

Ogbonna continued to cause problems for the Bromley backline, teasing the defence with his dynamic dribbling before laying off to captain Josh Jackman, whose effort rebounded off the inside of the post.

Jackman had Sharman-Lowe scrambling 24 minutes in, when his cross turned into a promising attempt on goal; the Ravens’ number 30 will have been extremely grateful to see the effort glide just wide of his post.

Jones conjured up an excellent exhibition of skill on the stroke of half time, knocking it round his man, before whipping a ball towards the six-yard box. Dennis found himself on the end of it, connecting perfectly from point blank range; Lincoln somehow managed to change the trajectory of the effort, preventing his side from going 2-0 down.

The second half continued in the same vein of end-to-end action, and Matt Lench decided to try his luck from distance early on, resulting in a comfortable save for Sharman-Lowe.

The Chelsea loanee had little time to relax however, as Ogbonna once again continued to probe, dispossessing Topalloj before laying off to Minhas, whose cross culminated in a goalmouth scramble, ultimately brought to an end by the sturdy hands of Sharman-Lowe.

As the game progressed, it was apparent that Slough had a major foothold in the affair, controlling the game with dominant spells of possession and frequent attacks. The Rebels’ best chance of the half came on the hour mark, when Tyrese Dyce’s low ball across the box fell to the feet of Lench, who unleashed a rocket towards goal; the midfielder’s effort narrowly avoided the top right-hand corner. Another enticing chance fell Slough’s way moments later, after Jeanmal Prosper’s volley following a corner flashed narrowly wide.

Both managers opted for a change 65 minutes in, with Dennis making way for Sam Woods in an attempt by the Ravens to see out the game.

A tidy passage of play from the hosts on 70 minutes resulted in Jude Arthurs’ cross planting itself on the head of Corey Whitely, who could not quite navigate his header past Lincoln.

A 90th minute counterattack from Andy Woodman’s side seemed the perfect opportunity for the Ravens to put the game to bed – that was until a reckless Dyce challenge on Arthurs stopped the attack in its tracks, with the number 17 receiving a yellow card for his actions.

The referee’s final whistle marked a third consecutive win for Bromley, sprinkling their name into the hat for the fourth round of the FA Trophy. Next up, we travel to Southend United on Saturday.

Attendance: 1,041 (84 away)

Written by Daniel Catlin

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