26 February 2024
Bromley played host to National League newcomers Harrogate Town on Saturday, with the opposition coming to Hayes Lane on the back of two successive league draws.
The Ravens nearly made the worst possible start, as straight from kickoff, George Thompson caught Bromley napping, and went through on goal, only for David Gregory to block his effort.
However, what would followed after this would be what could only be described as a one sided affair.
12 minutes in, the Ravens would have their noses in front, and it would be George Porter, who was playing out on the left, who would provide the goal. Reece Meekums reacted quickly and read the game well to intercept a high ball and feed it to Porter, who took it in his stride, flicked the ball up, and finished low past James Belshaw at his near post.
Other than two successive headers from Town corners being headed off the line by Tobi Adebayo-Rowling and Porter respectively, the visitors failed to threaten before the interval.
Firstly, Porter went inches away from doubling his tally less than ten minutes after scoring. The energetic forward burst onto a loose ball outside the box and curled an effort at goal from 20 yards, but agonisingly saw his effort ricochet off the inside of the post and roll agonisingly away from goal.
Omar Bugiel and Junior Ogedi Uzokwe both had efforts ruled out for offside and shots deflected wide, before Belshaw really imposed himself on the match.
The Town stopper made a triple save with just over half an hour on the clock. After denying Bugiel’s outside of the boot effort, he blocked not one but two follow ups from Porter to keep the scores down. Belshaw then made another good save from Porter, who struck a powerful effort goalwards following a well placed cross from Bugiel.
There was time for another fantastic save from the stopper before the break, and it would again be Bugiel who would be denied. The Lebanon international latched onto a cross from Meekums and slotted towards goal, but was denied by the outstretched leg of Belshaw.
Just three minutes into the second half, Belshaw would again be the visitors’ hero. After Porter’s initial volley was blocked, his second took a nasty deflection, wrong footing Belshaw, but he was still able to shift his weight and tip the ball wide.
It was soon Belshaw’s opposite number, Gregory, who would again be called into action; the young Bromley stopper managing to palm Jack Muldoon’s stinging drive away from goal, before producing another stunning save after Town had rattled the underside of the crossbar.
Substitute Bobby-Joe Taylor then had a good chance to make an immediate impact, but after linking up well with Bugiel, his low one on one shot was smothered by Belshaw.
It was then that Bromley would rue those missed opportunities, as Harrogate equalised with 73 minutes on the clock. After a low cross was sent into the six yard box, Dominic Knowles was on hand to tap into the net from all of two yards.
The game had levelled out and Harrogate were very much back in it. Despite some late pressure from Bromley, the closest they would come to going ahead was Frankie Sutherland’s deflected cross, which again, was tipped wide by Belshaw.
Bromley XI: Gregory, Adebayo-Rowling, D.Johnson, Sutherland, R.Johnson (Okoye), Holland (C), Raymond, Bugiel, Meekums (Taylor), Porter, Ogedi-Uzokwe.
Unused substitutes: Huxter (GK), Goodman, Enver.
Attendance: 1061 (68 away)