- Under 21's PDS
4 December 2023
Bromley welcomed in form AFC Fylde to Hayes Lane on Saturday afternoon, with the Ravens looking to seal their first league victory over the Coasters.
The match started with the visitors very much on the front foot, and took the lead just nine minutes in, thanks to leading scorer Danny Rowe. The National League’s top marksman got in front of his man and met an Arthur Gnahoua corner at the near post, diverting it home via a touch from David Gregory.
In truth, the Ravens were yet to settle into things by any means, but looked to respond quickly following the early setback. After a Bromley cross was picked up by the defending Gnahoua at the far post, Richard Brindley raced onto his toes and won possession on the corner of the six yard box, but saw his low effort well saved by Jay Lynch.
Frankie Raymond then tested Lynch with a low shot from distance, before Jack Holland flicked a header wide from George Porter’s cross, as Bromley looked to get back into the game. They did just that on 25 minutes.
After Marc-Anthony Okoye strolled past two Fylde challenges, he slipped a ball into JJ Hooper in the box, who saw his shot deflected out for a corner. From the resulting corner, Okoye headed Frankie Sutherland’s excellent delivery back across goal, where Jack Holland struck a low effort at goal, which appeared to deflect in off Hooper.
Just a minute later, and the game would be completely flipped on its head. After a long ball forward, Porter went through on goal but was tripped by Jordan Tunnicliffe, resulting in a spot kick being awarded to Bromley. Of course, the man to step up for the Ravens was Sutherland, and he kept his nerve, slotting into the bottom right corner and sending Lynch the wrong way.
After Holland stabbed another Porter cross just wide at the near post, came an excellent opportunity for a rejuvenated Bromley to extend their lead. After Hooper was found in the box, the on loan Grimsby Town forward floated a cross towards the far edge of the six yard box, where Porter was waiting, but he could only blaze an effort wide.
After the break, the visitors opted to make two attacking changes, bringing on Lewis Montrose and on loan Norwich City forward Mason Bloomfield for Andy Bond and Tunnicliffe.
After both sides appeared to be adapting to the visitors’ second half change in personnel and tactics, the Coasters would strike level on 58 minutes. Gnahoua had time in the box to let a low ball roll across his body onto his right foot, before smashing into the roof of the net, giving Gregory no chance.
Bromley would go close to restoring the lead a matter of minutes later, as Bloomfield handled the ball on the edge of the box, gifting Bromley a free kick in a dangerous position. Brindley stepped up, and struck a powerful effort destined for the top corner, but for the intervention of Lynch, who pulled off an outstanding save to deny him.
Luke Coulson then drove at the Fylde defence and found Sutherland in space around 25 yards from goal, but his driven shot was well held by Lynch.
However, just a minute later, unfortunate scenes would occur. As Bloomfield rushed towards goal, he went shoulder to shoulder with OKoye, and then went over as Gregory dived to claim the ball, and landed on his wrist, resulting in a break. He was down receiving treatment for some time, and was eventually stretchered off to a warm round of applause from both sets of fans. Having already made three substitutions, Fylde would see out the remainder of the match with ten men.
However, on 81 minutes, Bromley would take advantage and re-claim the lead. A chipped through ball into the box from Raymond met the run of Hooper, who poked the ball beyond the advancing Lynch to put Bromley ahead again.
Due to the injury, thirteen minutes of additional time were signalled at the end of the full 90 minutes. Two minutes in, Okoye poked a deep Sutherland free kick over the crossbar at the back post, before Raymond struck a low effort into Lynch’s arms from 25 yards.
However, Lynch would be to thank for the visitors after seven minutes of added time, producing an incredible reaction save to tip a near post Porter volley over the crossbar.
The visitors would have one final chance to earn a point just two minutes before time, as Gnahoua glanced Nick Haughton’s cross wide from just outside the six yard box.
Bromley would hold on though for all three points, and will look to carry their good form into Tuesday’s visit of Wrexham.
Bromley XI: Gregory, Sutherland, Holland (C), Raymond, Mekki (Bugiel), Okoye (Goodman), Porter, Wood, Brindley, Coulson (Hines), Hooper
Unused substitutes: Johnson, Ogedi-Uzokwe.