2 December 2023
Bromley welcomed third place Wrexham to the Westminster Waste Stadium on Tuesday night, with Neil Smith’s men looking to carry on their recent good form.
It was the Ravens who started as they meant to go on, and were the dominant force from the first minute. The first chance of note fell to Frankie Raymond on 10 minutes, as a Frankie Sutherland corner was cleared into his path just inside the box, allowing him to shoot first time, only for Wrexham goalkeeper Rob Lainton to make a block on the line to deny him.
The Dragons would go close themselves just five minutes later, as recent signing Bobby Grant received the ball in space on the edge of the box and thumped a shot at goal, which clipped the crossbar as it went over.
A minute later, Marc-Anthony Okoye caused problems for Wrexham at a corner, and nodded Raymond’s set piece across the face of goal, and with the visitors only half clearing the ball, Sutherland tried a volley from just inside the box, but didn’t connect properly and fired his effort over the crossbar.
However, on 21 minutes, Bromley’s strong start would turn into a lead. After good work from Richard Brindley earned a corner, set piece specialist Raymond delivered an inswinging effort towards the back post, which was emphatically headed home by Okoye, giving Lainton no chance. The Ravens had been knocking on the door with some neat football, and were good value for their lead.
Nine minutes before half time would see another good chance come Bromley’s way. Yet another Raymond corner was poorly cleared by the Dragons, and the ball fell for Adam Mekki who was in space in the box. He scuffed his first time shot, but the ball fell to the onrushing George Porter, who saw a low shot at goal blocked, before Jack Holland could only prod into Lainton’s arms from close range.
Yet, Bromley’s persistence would pay off again just a minute shy of the break. Scintillating play from Mekki saw him chest a ball down, turn, nutmeg his man and run at the defence, before delivering a cross which evaded JJ Hooper and the entire Wrexham defence, only to fall for Porter on the far side, who buried a crisp, first time effort into the bottom corner.
After the break, Wrexham boss Graham Barrow made two attacking changes, bringing on Cole Stockton and Ben Tollitt in place of Akil Wright and Paul Rutherford. The move saw Wrexham play a more attacking brand of football, but Bromley would stand firm throughout. The first chance of the half fell to the visitors on 53 minutes. Grant took down a long ball in the box with his back to goal and set the ball back to Luke Young, but he could only flash an effort over the crossbar from the edge of the box.
After a period of little penalty box activity for either side, Wrexham would have a great opportunity to reduce the deficit. A pinpoint corner from the right was met by the rising Shaun Pearson on the edge of the six yard box, and he thumped a header at goal, which seemed destined for the top corner, only for Gregory to intervene with a fantastic reaction save, diving to his right to tip the ball onto the underside of the crossbar, before Holland cleared the danger.
As time went on, Sutherland caused more danger with his free kick deliveries, and with one, Bromley nearly grabbed a third. A well weighted delivery from the left was nodded across goal by Holland to the waiting Okoye at the back post, but he couldn’t set himself in time, and the ball hit his shoulder before looping into Lainton’s arms.
Substitute Omar Bugiel, whose physicality was troubling the Wrexham back line, almost grabbed a third on 89 minutes. After Hooper flicked a ball into his path in the box, he struck an effort from the angle, but it was always rising, and it cleared the crossbar.
With little threat from Wrexham, the Ravens claimed the three points for a sixth win in seven matches.
Bromley XI: Gregory, Sutherland, Holland (C), Raymond, Mekki (Bugiel), Okoye, Porter, Wood, Brindley, Coulson (Hines), Hooper.
Unused substitutes: Johnson, Goodman, Meekums
Attendance: 1,061 (189 away)