2 March 2024
Jack Holland’s first half header proves to be the decisive goal at the Ebb Stadium as the Ravens pick up all three points under the lights against Aldershot Town.
The Ravens were missing striker Korrey Henry and winger Reeco Hackett-Fairchild due to injury.
The match was overall a cagey affair, with some resolute defending needed by Bromley in the second half, as well as long fingernails for the Ravens faithful watching on.
Bromley’s first chance fell the way of Billy Bingham, who picked up a loose ball on the edge of the box and fired a volley narrowly wide of Mitch Walker’s post.
Shots looked a different proposition to the side of last season who were only saved from relegation due to a reprieve, and Harry Panayiotou looked sharp, sending a low, deflected shot inches wide of goal.
However, the decisive moment of the 90 minutes would come just shy of the half hour mark. After some persistent pressure from Bromley, a third successive corner, delivered by Frankie Raymond, was flicked beyond Walker at the near post by none other than Jack Holland. It would be the skipper’s second goal in as many games.
Former Aldershot man Adam Mekki could, and should have doubled the lead minutes later. After good work from Michael Cheek, Luke Coulson was able to drift into the box and find Mekki in space, but with the goal at his mercy, he curled an effort high and wide.
Straight after, Panayiotou should have equalised at the other end. After popping up to meet an Alefe Santos cross with his head, he somehow powered the ball wide when it seemed easier to hit the target.
Bromley made all three substitutions within the first 20 minutes of the second half, with Mekki making way for Jordan Higgs, Coulson being replaced by Marc-Anthony Okoye and George Porter coming off for Adrian Clifton. This signalled a change in tactics for Neil Smith’s side.
Former Bromley striker Shamir Mullings went close for his new side, but fantastic anticipation from Mark Cousins saw him dive at the big striker’s feet and bravely deflect the ball away from goal as the former looked to shoot.
Cousins would be Bromley’s hero again on two occasions soon after, firstly showing impeccable reactions to tip Mullings’ excellent goalbound header away from goal, before turning a cross/shot from Robbie Tinkler over the crossbar as it looked to dip into the net.
Despite a large share of the possession and numerous attacks, the Shots failed to test Cousins any further. Cheek would have the ball in the net for Bromley, only for it to be ruled out for offside.
In what became a scrappy end to the game, tempers flared on the field and in the dugouts, resulting in the hosts’ manager Danny Searle receiving a yellow card, whilst goalkeeping coach David Blackmore was sent off.
The Ravens weathered the storm though, and sealed a second clean sheet in four matches, rising to fifth in the National League table.
Bromley XI: Cousins, Kizzi, Wood, Holland (C), Coulson (Okoye), Raymond, Cheek, Bingham, Mekki (Higgs), Bush, Porter (Clifton)
Unused substitutes: Dunne, Klass