26 February 2024
League leaders Bromley and high-flying newly promoted side Woking went head to head under the lights at Hayes Lane, in which was an early season top of the table clash. The Cards come in to this third in the table with one defeat to their name, whilst the Ravens remain unbeaten with a point separating the two sides.
A succession of early corners almost led to the visitors taking the lead inside the first 2 minutes as Jack Cook got on the end of both but wasn’t able to guide any of them home.
First chance of the game for the hosts as Luke Coulson, on the half volley tested Craig Ross in the Woking goal diving to his right and parrying away. Joe Kizzi got his head on the resulting corner but Ross was able to push the ball away at his near post.
Reeco Hackett-Fairchild was able to send Coulson down the left and his first time cross was just beyond the reach of Michael Cheek. He was able to pull the ball back for Hackett-Fairchild but his right footed shot was quickly closed down by a sea of yellow defenders.
After a frantic first 5 minutes to the game, the next chance fell to the visitors in the 20th minute. Neat football in the midfield and a low ball across the box was met by the Cards skipper Josh Casey, but his rising shot was never going to trouble Mark Cousins.
On the half hour mark a Coulson free kick on the left was flicked goal wards by Cheek, but his header was tipped over by Ross.
A route one long ball by the visitors’ keeper and the ball fell nicely for Jamar Loza, but his left footed shot from a tight angle was well covered by Cousins and the ball hit the wrong side of the net from a Woking perspective.
7 minutes before half time and the hosts were in front. Billy Bingham found space in the opposition’s half and his mis hit shot trickled its way through to first, Hackett-Fairchild, who wasn’t able to make contact but the on-rushing Cheek was able to beat Ross to the ball and slide it home from 6 yards.
Shortly before the break an unmarked Cheek had the chance to double the Ravens lead as he got on the end of Coulson’s cross, but his header was straight down the keeper’s throat.
First chance of the second half went to the Ravens. The home side were able to break away on the counter attack as Bingham played a sumptuous through ball to Coulson, who was able to go through on goal after the Woking right back lost his footing. Coulson’s touch however, was heavy and allowed Ross to close the angle down, the ball fell to Cheek who had the goal gaping but the Woking defenders were able to clear the ball off the line.
Another opportunity for the home side to double their lead came soon after. Sam Wood played a long ball down the left channel, the Woking defender was able to win the header but the second ball dropped to Hackett-Fairchild who juggled the ball before unleashing a left footed drive, the ball outswinging and missing the top right-hand corner by a matter of inches.
Alfie Doughty found space down the right and his low cross was mis hit 6 yards out by Shawn McCoulsky, right in front of goal when it looked easier to score. Cook was able to clear the ball away for a Ravens corner, but nothing came of it.
Almost an instant impact from substitute Adrian Clifton came not long after. He rose highest to meet Hackett-Fairchild’s cross but his header was superbly saved by Ross, diving to his right to keep the score down.
The Ravens saw out the game with a resilient display to come away with the three points and remain top of the National League, going four points clear in the process.
Bromley XI: Cousins, Kizzi, Wood, Okoye (C), Coulson (McCoulsky), Cheek, Bingham, Bush, Hackett-Fairchild, Rees, Doughty (Clifton)
Unused subs: Holland, Mekki, Klass
Attendance: 2358 (251 away supporters)
Report by Dan Bentley