8 December 2023
The Ravens welcomed table toppers Leyton Orient to the Westminster Waste Stadium on Tuesday night in front of a sell out crowd, looking to put the disappointment of the late defeat to Salford well and truly behind them.
The O’s came to Hayes Lane in fine form, looking to cement their place at the top of the Vanarama National League table at the business end of the season.
The first chance of note fell to the visitors on 12 minutes. An excellently weighted corner from James Brophy connected with the head of Josh Coulson, but he could only watch as his effort was stopped on the line by a combination of David Gregory and Sam Wood.
Moments later, Jay Simpson found himself in space inside the box and curled an effort towards Gregory’s goal, but it was always rising and didn’t trouble the Bromley stopper in the end.
Bromley would have a chance of their own on 21 minutes, as fantastic work from Luke Coulson saw him get the better of Josh Widdowson down the right and set a low ball back across the box for JJ Hooper to strike at goal, but after a good first touch, he fired a low, left-footed effort wide from just inside the box.
Yet, it would be the visitors who would take the lead deep into two additional minutes at the end of the first half. Coulson scuffed an effort home from the edge of the six yard box after his original shot was blocked in a game of pinball inside the Bromley box.
The Ravens came into the second half a completely different side and appeared to be intent in attacking from the off.
Just two minutes in, former Orient man George Porter found himself through on goal, only to be clipped by Marvin Ekpiteta just inside the box, with referee Will Finnie pointing straight to the spot and duly giving Ekpiteta his marching orders, meaning Orient would see out the rest of the game with ten men.
Frankie Sutherland stepped up to take the spot kick and in clinical fashion he smashed it into the back of the net, sending Dean Brill the wrong way and levelling the tie up, creating an interesting remaining 40 minutes.
Bromley’s Coulson then went close to putting his side ahead just minutes after they equalised, but after doing well to control a knock-down, his volleyed effort was deflected wide of goal.
It wouldn’t take long for that goal to come though, and Coulson would certainly play his part. After dragging his man out wide and feeding the ball back to Frankie Raymond, the latter had time and space to send in an inch perfect first time cross, which was met by the head of the stooping Reeco Hackett-Fairchild, who directed an effort beyond Brill to send the Bromley fans into raptures.
Coulson would again go close just three minutes after the goal, cutting inside and unleashing a powerful effort, which forced a smart save from Brill.
As time went on, Bromley would go so close to extending their lead with just seven minutes left on the clock. Richard Brindley made a strong run down the right and cut inside, before unleashing a thunderbolt from 25 yards, which had Brill beaten, but agonisingly thumped the crossbar as it dipped towards goal.
The woodwork would be struck again by Bromley deep into seven minutes of injury time, as Raymond deftly avoided a challenge on the edge of the box before caressing an effort at goal, only for it to beat Brill but strike the inside of the post and roll to Orient safety.
The Ravens held on this time for another well earned victory against their top of the table opponents, and next host Aldershot Town on Saturday 6th April.
Bromley XI: Gregory, Sutherland, Johnson, Holland (C), Raymond, Porter (Bugiel), Hackett-Fairchild (Okoye), Wood, Brindley, Coulson, Hooper
Unused substitutes: Sarpong-Wiredu, Dunne, Higgs
Attendance: 3,047 (1,173 away)