8 December 2023
Bromley hosted Hartlepool United in Monday’s afternoon’s bank holiday fixture at Hayes Lane, with Andy Woodman’s side aiming to climb back into the playoff positions.
An end-to-end opening minute of the game saw both sides begin with attacking intent. Hartlepool forward Luke Armstrong’s fierce attempt on goal would be smartly blocked by the Bromley defence just seconds into the match.
The Ravens responded immediately at the other end – Ben Williamson’s mazy run into the box saw his close-range strike excellently shut out by Henrich Ravas.
Hartlepool continued to press from long range. But it was the hosts who almost broke the deadlock in the 13th minute. Michael Cheek’s swept finish from the corner of the six yard box was unfortunately ruled out for offside.
The hosts’ Frankie Raymond saw his delivery from a long-range set-piece find Charlie Fox, whose tame effort failed to test Ravas.
Bromley should have taken the lead on the cusp of the half-hour mark. Another excellent delivery from Raymond saw young Jude Arthurs header somehow fail to find the net, sending a flicked header inches wide.
A flurry of Hartlepool crosses on the 31st minute very nearly saw The Pools take the lead, but for Joe Kizzi, who made a timely clearance to deny David Ferguson an opportunity on two occasions at the far post
Four minutes from the interval saw the deadlock finally broken with Andy Woodman’s Ravens taking the lead. Jack Bridge’s footwork allowed him space to pass to Raymond, and his precise cross into the box was met by 19-year-old Arthurs, whose header flew past Ravas.
The second half began the same way it started in the first. Hartlepool tested from range as Donaldson’s effort go inches wide.
Bromley’s attacking impetus continued with Bridge – his tireless run ended with his strike blocked in the six-yard box.
Hartlepool substitute Luke Molyneux came on for the visitors, nearly providing an instant impact. The number 10 would see his curling strike excellently stopped by Mark Cousins.
The 34-year-old came to the Ravens’ rescue once again at the 65-minute mark with a quite stunning double save; firstly stopping Featherstone outside the box effort, to then miraculously denying Armstrong a certain Hartlepool equaliser from three yards out.
Andy Woodman’s Ravens should have doubled their lead with ten minutes to go. James Alabi’s point-blank header was somehow denied by Ravas on the goal-line.
Gary Liddle’s reckless challenge on Alabi would see him earn a second booking and ensure Hartlepool were brought down to ten men with minutes left.
The Ravens saw out the game to collect the victory and break Hartlepool’s 16 game unbeaten streak. Three huge points for Woodman’s men as it takes them into the playoff places.
Bromley XI: Cousins, Kizzi, Bush, Fox, Mitchell, Raymond (Trotter), Arthurs, Bingham, Bridge (Holland), Cheek, Williamson (Alabi)
Unused substitutes: Coulson, Campbell
Report by Ahmed Ali