8 December 2023
Bromley reached the FA Trophy final in scintillating style by defeating York City 3-1 at Hayes Lane.
In the opening few minutes, Bromley got off to a nightmare start. Paddy McLaughin’s corner was parried away by Ellery Balcombe and the ball landed to Kurt Willoughby who placed a venomous shot into the back of the net to give York City the lead. The visitors were spurred on by that opportunity, with Mitch Hancox’s 25 yard effort going narrowly wide. In the 20th minute, Michael Cheek intercepted the ball and shot from distance, forcing Pete Jameson to instinctively save his effort.
Minutes later, Clayton Donaldson weaved his way past Byron Webster and got into Bromley’s penalty area, from an acute angle he could only place his effort wide of the goal. In a game built on possession, there were far and few chances for both sets of teams after a dramatic 25 minutes. A disappointing half for Bromley on the whole.
In the second half, Liam Trotter got a ball into the box, with second half substitute Louis Dennis heading over the bar. A much better start for the Ravens, who commenced the half with energy. York nearly threatened to get their second goal of the game when McLaughin crossed into Bromley’s penalty area finding Donaldson who placed his header just wide.
In the 56th minute, following a Billy Bingham corner, a goalmouth scramble occurred, with a York City defender clearing the ball off the line. Bromley kept attacking and eventually their pressure paid off. Cheek was played through on goal and made no mistake sending the Bromley fans mental. As the half was approaching the 70th minute, Hancox’s low shot was well saved by Balcombe to keep the scores level.
With 10 minutes remaining of the game, Dennis delivered a perfect cross and England C striker Cheek sent his header into the bottom left corner much to the jubilation of the Bromley faithful. An incredible performance from the forward.
However, Bromley were not finished yet. James Alabi ran towards the York City goal and with defenders all around the forward, he used his strength to his advantage, finishing with ease and confirmed Bromley’s place at Wembley for good.
Bromley: 13 Ellery Balcombe, 2 Joe Partington, 4 Billy Bingham, 5 Chris Bush, 9 Michael Cheek (Bloomfield) 16 Liam Trotter, 17 Byron Webster, 18 Corey Whitely, 21 James Vennings, 22 George Alexander (Dennis) 37 Ali Al-Hamadi (Alabi)
Unused Subs: 1 Mark Cousins, 23 Ben Krauhaus, 34 Jack Cawley, 36 Charles Nicholas
Match report by Alex Exadactylos