2 December 2023
Bromley welcomed league high flyers and promotion candidates Forest Green Rovers to Hayes Lane on Saturday afternoon, looking to bounce back from a disappointing New Year’s Day defeat at Sutton.
It was the visitors, however, who nearly took the lead in the opening five minutes, after Elliott Frear was given time and space on the edge of the box, allowing him to crack a low shot at goal. Yet, the Alan Julian, whose vision was obscured by a crowd of players, made an incredible save, diving down to his left to divert the powerful drive around the post. Frear was at the centre of the action once more minutes later, as he intercepted a ball heading into the Bromley penalty area and tried to lob Julian, only to see his effort clear the crossbar.
Bromley were very much in the game and were playing some good football, albeit, with little end product in the early stages. Rovers reminded Bromley of their potent threat when the unopposed Charlie Clough headed just wide from a corner, when he should arguably have done better.
However, after a mistake from Rob Swaine, who was left out of position, Rovers got several men forwards in quick succession and the ball was fed to the impressive Frear, who beat Julian with a low shot at his near post to give his side a 28th minute lead and end Bromley’s clean sheet streak at Hayes Lane.
Bromley’s first chance came as half time approached, and after some neat passing work between Louis Dennis and Blair Turgott, the latter had a low shot at goal well saved by Sam Russell, and from the rebound, Dennis’ overhead kick across goal was dealt with by the visitors’ defence.
However, another mistake from Bromley led to Forest Green scoring their second just two minutes before half time. This time, Dennis misplaced his pass and this again allowed a flurry of black and green shirts to get forward, and Frear turned provider this time, putting the ball on a plate for Christian Doidge to tap home from a matter of yards out.
Bromley managed to reduce the arrears early on in the second half, as Swaine rose bravely to meet Jordan Higgs’ cross and head into the net, but just a minute later, Bromley shot themselves in the foot, as Keanu Marsh-Brown finished off a neat move with a low shot which crept in off the post. And two minutes later, it was four, as former Dulwich Hamlet defender Ethan Pinnock headed home from a free kick.
Bromley already had a mountain to climb, and the task was made even harder when Swaine was sent off for a second bookable offence, and following that, in additional time, Doidge put some more gloss on the scoreline, weaving through Bromley’s remaining defenders and finished past Julian for his second of the game.
Bromley XI: Julian, Wynter, Chorley (Minshull), Swaine, Holland (C), Martin (Porter), Cunnington, Dennis, Anderson, Higgs, Turgott.
Unused substitutes: Johnson, Dymond, Goldberg.