9 December 2023
A 14th minute Blair Turgott penalty was enough for Bromley to see off the challenge of Torquay United at Hayes Lane.
Bromley started the game on the front foot, and on loan Charlton Athletic forward Brandon Hanlan was key to that, as he reacted quickly to intercept a loose ball and find Blair Turgott in acres of space. The latter then cut in from the right and crossed into the box, only to see it deflect off a defender, yet still loop towards goal, and United stopper Brendan Moore chose to take precaution and tip it over the crossbar.
From the resulting corner, Jack Holland headed narrowly over as the Ravens appeared to be in full control. After 13 minutes, they were given a chance to make their mark on the scoreline, as Yellows’ midfielder David Fitzpatrick handled in the area, prompting the referee to point to the spot. Blair Turgott stepped up and dispatched a low effort past Moore and into the net, via the left hand post.
The visitors aimed to respond soon after though, and Lee Minshull was Bromley’s saviour with a last ditch block to deny them, bravely diving down at the attacker’s feet to charge down the shot. Alan Julian then prevented the resurgent Gulls from scoring an equaliser, as a slick counter attack culminated in Fitzpatrick controlling the ball and shooting at goal, only for Julian to make a superb save and tip the ball around the post. Just.
Torquay weren’t done there either, as Lathaniel Rowe-Turner persisted in his efforts to get into the box, before squaring the ball to Brett Williams, who saw his scuffed shot ricochet off the crossbar and then be cleared by the Bromley defence. The Gulls then missed two sitters in close succession, as first Fitzpatrick hammered the ball into the side netting when it seemed easier to score, followed by Aman Verma heading over from a corner when he was completely unmarked.
Just before half time, Louis Dennis took a knock and was substituted by Neil Smith, being replaced by George Porter.
It was Porter who had the first chance of note in the second half for Bromley, after he surged towards the box and produced a low shot which lacked power, however, the ball hit a divot in the ground on its way through, prompting Moore into a diving save. Bromley survived again minutes later as they failed to clear a ball from the six yard area, prompting a game of pinball which ended in Julian tipping the ball away as it rolled towards goal.
Dave Martin should have put Bromley two goals to the good with 15 minutes left to play, but after Porter’s quick thinking and low cross into the area, Martin’s first time shot was just wide, with goalkeeper Moore stranded.
Porter then inadvertently missed the opportunity to do the same, as Hanlan’s pull-back cross was parried into his path by Moore, but he had next to no time to react, and the ball deflected off his shin and out for a goal kick.
There was time for one more chance for United as time drew on, and Daniel Sparkes’ crisp strike after a mazy run into the box was only denied by another good diving save from Julian.
Report by Matt Hall – @bfc_announcer
Bromley XI: Julian, Chorley, Dunne, Holland ©, Martin (Wynter), Minshull, Dennis (Porter), Anderson, Higgs (Dymond), Turgott, Hanlan
Unused subs: Johnson, Goldberg