28 December 2015

Bromley return to winning ways at Dover

  • Men's

Bromley grabbed all three points at “The Crabble” in what proved to be an enthralling Monday afternoon fixture. Dover took the lead early on through Ricky Miller, but ‘The Whites’ were then reduced to ten men as Stefan Payne saw red for a stamp on Lee Minshull. Adam Cunnington and Jack Holland then put Bromley ahead, before Miller equalised for Dover. The points were then sealed for ‘The Ravens’ by Reece Prestedge who powerfully headed home making it 3-2 to The Ravens at full time.

Mark Goldberg made two changes from the side that drew 2-2 with Eastleigh on Saturday. Ugo Udoji and Joe Anderson came into the starting eleven, replacing Sean Francis and Aaron Tumwa. Dover set out with the clubs top scorers Ricky Miller and Stefan Payne in attack, and it was those two who worked together to put the home-side in front after 8 minutes. Payne’s flick on from a lofted pass was collected by Miller, who then managed to evade the on rushing Udoji and Rob Swaine to then beat Alan Julian in the Bromley goal. Defensive woes once again for Bromley with the worrying trend of conceding early on still plighting Mark Goldberg’s side.

The goal had put the home crowd right behind their side and ‘The Whites’ were definitely seeing more of the ball in the first quarter of the game. However, the actions of Stefan Payne would then, arguably, cost Dover the match. There had already been a slight altercation between Payne and Bromley’s, Lee Minshull in the early periods of the game, but just before the half hour mark it reached boiling point. Minshull and Payne both went into a challenge and on the follow through it seemed that Payne had stamped on the Bromley midfielder. The referee deemed it so and brandished the red card for Payne. Dover were then forced to reshuffle and left the two Ricky’s, Miller and Modeste, as their main outlets. This allowed for Bromley to really get into the game and also lift pressure on the back line.

Bromley struggled to muster up many chances in the first half, but luck eventually found their side as Emmanuel’s shot, fired straight at Rafferty, could only be parried into the path of Adam Cunnington who duly slotted the ball home, making it 1-1 at the half time interval.

The second half was at stalemate for much of the opening periods. Bromley were left to have possession as Dover set up with a compact defensive unit making it hard for Bromley to play through. Moses Emmanuel then, however, managed to carve open the Dover defence after 57 minutes, but his effort was blocked by the stretching Aswad Thomas. Bromley then won a corner and it would be set pieces that would tell the tale of the remainder of the game. The corner was swung in and Jack Holland managed to put Bromley in front for the first time in the match. Following the goal, Alex Wall and Bradley Goldberg were introduced from the bench showing more attacking intent. This possibly highlighting the view that a one goal lead may not be enough for Bromley in the eyes of the management.

Dover then, against all odds, managed to get themselves back on level terms minutes later. Bromleys defence unable to defend against Miller again, who was the man to score for Dover. A free kick from the right flank was swung in and couldn’t be dealt with by Bromley. The ball was nodded down and found Miller who stabbed it into the back of the net. This prompted ‘The Ravens’ to take more advantage of the extra man. Minutes after the equaliser, Cunnington and Wall played a clever one-two with the formers shot being well saved by Rafferty down to his left.

Reece Prestedge was the third substitute to be brought on for Bromley and his return to the side proved to be inspired as he claimed the three points for The Ravens. Another corner for Bromley was whipped in with pace and Prestedge directed his header into the roof of the net, sending the well-travelled Bromley fans into delight. Bromley withstood any late attacks from ten man Dover and took all three points from the South East. Many would have taken four points out of a possible six over the festive period and The Ravens will look to continue that form down at Eastleigh next Saturday.

The win means Bromley finish 2015, 13th in the Vanarama National League on 37 points. That’s 13 above Welling in the last relegation spot, and 9 off Dover in the last play-off spot. The Ravens also finish the year as 3rd top goal scorers in the league with 47 in 26 games, who’d have thought that?