2 December 2023
After a fortnight of fixture disruption, Neil Smith’s men finally got the chance to take to the field again, as they played host to Sean St Ledger’s Guiseley side.
The first good chance of the match fell to Guiseley’s Dayle Southwell after the ball was switched over from the right. He took the ball down well and hit an effort goal wards, only for Jack Holland to instinctively block the strike well with his torso.
Bromley were quick to respond, as they countered through Brandon Hanlan. The Ravens’ number nine rounded Coddington but, with the angle against him, could only put his effort wide of the post with the goalkeeper stranded.
Bromley went close again not too long after. Louis Dennis hit a superb cross field pass to George Porter, before Porter took the ball in his stride and crossed into the box for Luke Wanadio, but the winger was unable to generate enough power on his header to test Coddington in the Guiseley goal and it looped harmlessly into his arms.
Guiseley grew into the match and certainly looked the move livelier of the sides in the first half. They had a great chance just after the half-hour mark and it fell to Roberts once more. He found space inside the box and was given time to get a left footed strike away, which he guided just wide of the post, when he should have done better.
After the break, the first good chance for either side fell Bromley’s way on 54 minutes. Some virtuoso play from Dennis, which saw him weave in and out of challenges, leaving defenders in his wake, ended with him seeing his powerful effort deflected into the path of Hanlan, who lunged for the ball with his boot but was denied by a brave Coddington save.
Bromley would experience further frustration minutes later, as Wanadio made a well timed run to meet an excellent through ball from Luke Woolfenden and surge into the box. He then produced a low shot at goal, which seemed to be heading inches wide, before Hanlan slid in to try and divert it home, but could’t stretch enough, and it went wide.
Hanlan then had another good opportunity to give his side the lead, but after meeting an inswinging cross from George Porter, the Charlton loanee couldn’t direct his header at goal, and nodded wide.
Substitute Adam Mekki, donning a protective face mask, was lively from the moment he was introduced into the game, and after being played through on goal by Dennis, lofted a shot over the bar from an angle.
On 70 minutes, the game would take a turn for the worse for the visitors. Victor Nirrenold, who had been booked in the first half, was shown a second yellow card after taking down Porter when he was through on goal.
Bromley sensed an opportunity with their one man advantage, and made this count just two minutes later. Great interplay between Porter and Hanlan saw the former’s shot parried by Coddington into the centre of the box, where substitute Josh Rees was on hand to calmly guide a side-footed effort into the bottom corner to give Bromley the lead.
Their lead was nearly doubled nine minutes later, as more superb play from Woolfenden saw him cross the ball into a dangerous position near the six yard box, where Porter rose highest to connect with his head, but could only glance an effort wide.
However, despite Bromley being in the ascendency, two minutes from time, the visitors would equalise. After Bromley failed to clear their lines properly, John Rooney took advantage of a mishit clearance, meeting the ball on the edge of the penalty area and striking a low, outside of the boot effort past the unsighted David Gregory.
Just as the hearts of the Bromley faithful began to sink, there would be more drama. Manager Neil Smith opted for one final throw of the dice, bringing on Omar Bugiel with just seconds of normal time remaining. And the Lebanon international would come up trumps in the first minute of injury time, as he held up the ball on the edge of the area before guiding a perfectly placed, low shot into the bottom corner, past the fully stretched Coddington.
The Lions had little time to respond, and Bromley held on for what would turn out to be a dramatic victory at The H2T Group Stadium.
Bromley XI: Gregory, Woolfenden, Holland, R. Johnson, Sterling (Bugiel), Raymond (Rees), Sutherland, Wanadio (Mekki), Porter, Dennis, Hanlan.
Unused subs: Chorley, D. Johnson,