26 February 2024
Bromley took all three points for the second year running at Nethermoor Park, after an extraordinary encounter provided a stoppage time winner.
The Lions started the game on the front foot and nearly made their bright start count barely a minute in, as Ash Palmer headed a deep free kick across goal before Kayode Odejayi scuffed a shot so wide it went out for a throw in.
However, the real drama of the opening minutes was yet to unfold. After two minutes, Louis Dennis was felled just outside the six yard box as he was about to pull the trigger and almost certainly score. Palmer was the culprit, and was duly sent off after the referee had pointed to the spot. The fouled Dennis stepped up, but saw his low effort parried by Jonny Maxted, before Adam Mekki’s follow up was diverted into the side netting.
Tashan Adeyinka, making his first start for Bromley, had two good chances, firstly producing a towering header which was well saved by Maxted, before curling an effort a whisker wide from just outside the penalty area, via the slightest of deflections.
At the other end, Rowan Liburd blasted narrowly wide after taking down a goal kick which was not cleared. However, at the end of the first half as injury time drew on, Maxted produced an outstanding reaction save to deny Josh Rees, who had flicked Mekki’s excellent free kick delivery towards goal. The Guiseley ‘keeper somehow put an arm out in enough time to tip the ball onto the post and out for a corner.
The second half took a while to get going, but the game continued to be an open one. Frankie Raymond curled narrowly wide for the Ravens, before Tyrone Sterling shaped up a shot from what must have been 35 yards out, and only missed out by a matter of inches. Luke Wanadio also went close with an impressive dipping shot from the corner of the penalty area, which had Maxted beaten, but was just wide.
The introduction of debutant Dominic Vose and Iffy Allen saw Bromley push further forwards, with the former impressing on the ball on several occasions.
This would pay off eventually, as the Ravens were awarded a second penalty on 84 minutes, after Frankie Raymond was fouled, despite the fact Rees had the ball in the net. Rees was indeed the man to take the spot kick, but frustratingly, saw it easily saved by Maxted.
However, all was not lost for Bromley. Deep into four minutes of injury time, superb work from Vose saw him cut in from the right and produce a low ball across the face of goal, and to the delight of the travelling contingent behind the goal, Allen was first to the ball, prodding home from close range.
There was time, however, for the home side to create one final chance. Bromley hearts were in mouths as Darren Holden’s deep cross into the box was met by the head of Liburd, and his effort seemed destined for the back of the net, only for the intervention of David Gregory, who made an incredible leap through the air to clasp the ball and settle Bromley nerves, in what would be the last move of a bizarre encounter.
Bromley XI: Gregory, Dunne, Rees, Holland ©, Raymond, Dennis, Mekki (Vose), D.Johnson, Sterling, Wanadio (Allen), Adeyinka.
Unused Subs: Campbell, Wynter, Higgs.