2 March 2024
Andy Woodman’s unbeaten-in-nine Ravens looked to continue their soaring streak this Saturday, with a fifteenth placed Boreham Wood side the only obstacle in their quest. Luke Garrard’s men also boasted an impressive recent record, unbeaten in their last three games. The Bromley Boys rolled into the fixture off the back of an enthralling penalty shootout win over Chippenham Town in the fourth round of the FA Trophy.
The visitors were the stronger of the two sides in the opening parts of the game, and should undoubtedly have taken the lead through Tyrone Marsh five minutes in. A mesmerising Erico Sousa dribble through the heart of the Bromley defence allowed the midfielder to pick out Marsh; after steadying himself, the number ten fired goalwards, but his rocket posed no threat to Grant Smith, hurtling over the crossbar.
Another chance fell to The Wood twenty minutes in, as a combination of step-overs from Femi Ilesanmi granted the full-back the chance to try his luck from the edge of the area; his attempt failed to penetrate the sea of black and white bodies. Moments later, a trademark long throw in from Chris Bush wreaked havoc in the six-yard box – Marsh was involved once again as he capitalised on the disarray, nodding towards goal, his effort thwarted only by the steady gloves of Smith between the sticks.
Ilesanmi continued to prove problematic for the Bromley backline down the left hand side, winning his team a corner on thirty minutes. Sousa swung into the box, his cross arching perfectly towards the head of Billy Sass-Davies, who had no other option but to plant a bullet-header firmly past Smith and into the back of the net, deservedly smashing the deadlock wide open.
The jubilance lasted mere seconds for the visitors, after virtuoso Corey Whitely conjured up a spell of brilliance out of nowhere, lashing ruthlessly from twenty-five yards to draw his side level, leaving a defenceless Nathan Ashmore with no chance of denying.
End-to-end action ensued, and Marsh found himself up against Smith again; the attacker could not quite direct his effort on target, firing hard into the side netting. Marsh had a second bite at the cherry in the next attack, once again finding his effort smothered by the Bromley number one.
At the other end, the prolific strike partnership of Michael Cheek and Olufela Olomola looked dangerous – Cheek came close to firing the hosts ahead on the stroke of half time, forcing Ashmore into a low save.
Cheek wasn’t done there though; the number nine thought he’d notched his fourteenth league goal of the season with virtually the last kick of the half, following an audacious flick from a Besart Topalloj cross; a fingertip save from Ashmore denied the frontman.
The Ravens started the second half much better than they did the first, and Passley was whiskers away from giving the Ravens the lead fifty minutes in – after latching onto Alex Kirk’s through ball, the number seven rolled past the outstretched leg of Ashmore, who could only watch in horror as the ball trickled past his post; a huge sigh of relief for the Boreham Wood shot-stopper.
Chances flooded thick and fast for Bromley as the pressure on the visitors increased, and Callum Reynolds was the man to steer the ship towards the treasure – the defender found himself one-on-one with Ashmore in the six-yard box, and lashed mercilessly past the ‘keeper for his first of the season and Bromley’s second of the afternoon.
Cheek thought he had added the cherry on top of the cake seventy minutes in, when he struck home from just outside the eighteen-yard box; the referee scratched the striker’s name off the scoresheet, as a result of an alleged hand ball in the buildup.
Boreham Wood substitute Kwesi Appiah delivered a crushing blow to the hosts with only ten minutes to go. Ilesanmi’s whipped ball in was complimented with a looping header from Appiah, leaving Smith rooted to the spot, and dismaying much of the RELOC8 Community Stadium.
A point apiece leaves the Ravens flying high in second place in the National League table, whilst Boreham Wood remain rooted in fifteenth. Up next, we travel to Aldershot on Tuesday night.