2 December 2023
An injury ravaged Bromley side fell to an injury time equaliser at home to FC Halifax Town on Saturday afternoon, having led twice.
Adding to an already long injury list, coupled with two suspensions, goalkeeper David Gregory and right back Richard Brindley had to drop out of the squad during the warm up, meaning Max Huxter made his first team debut in goal, whilst Marc-Anthony Okoye filled in at right back, despite still working his way back to fitness after an injury.
The first real chance of the game fell to Jack Holland, just after the ten minute mark. Frankie Sutherland’s excellent corner was met by the head of the skipper at the back post, but despite Sam Johnson being stranded and the goal being almost open, he couldn’t keep his header down, and nodded over the bar.
However, little over a minute later, the Ravens would be presented with a great opportunity to take the lead. After Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe was bundled down in the box, referee Sam Purkiss pointed straight to the spot, for what would be Bromley’s second penalty in two games.
Up stepped Sutherland, fresh from scoring from the spot at Ebbsfleet. Bizarrely, his penalty was pushed onto the inner stanchion of the goal by Johnson, meaning it had crossed the line, but Sutherland opted to make sure, slamming home the rebound from on the line.
Then, the curse of injuries took centre stage once again. Within the space of nine minutes, Town’s Niall Maher and Bromley’s Omar Bugiel were both forced off, with the latter appearing to pull a muscle, and was replaced by Reece Meekums.
After Jonathan Edwards glanced a header wide for the Shaymen, and Jordan Higgs blasted one over for Bromley, Joan Luque could and perhaps should have doubled Bromley’s lead, but could only slot wide from close range following outstanding play from Ogedi-Uzokwe to cut in and put the ball on a plate for him.
During the half time break, things got even worse for Bromley on the injury front, as Sam Wood was forced off, being replaced by Bobby-Joe Taylor, who would occupy an unfamiliar left back role.
Luque again could have given Bromley the lead early on in the second half. After a defensive miscommunication between Johnson and his defence, Luque picked up a loose ball in the box but volleyed into the turf and over the bar.
The Ravens would be made to pay minutes later, as Town equalised. Substitute Josh Staunton was not picked up at the back post, and following a deep cross which was not cleared by Bromley, the England C man nodded past Huxter to restore parity.
After two half chances, Bromley would go close to taking the lead again on 77 minutes, going agonisingly close. A scramble in the visitors’ box ensued after a ball was not cleared, and Ogedi-Uzokwe was unfortunate to see his goalbound effort cleared off the line, before Luque’s header was fumbled away from goal by Johnson.
But Bromley would take the lead four minutes later. An incredible, visionary crossfield pass from Sutherland met the perfectly timed arching run of George Porter, who stroked home with a delightful first time finish, giving Johnson no chance.
However, despite a battling and impressive performance in difficult circumstances, Bromley would be denied at the death. After another deep cross into the six yard box was not cleared by Bromley, Jordan Preston was on hand to place a header across Huxter and into the bottom corner from the back post to snatch a point.
Bromley XI: Huxter, Sutherland, Holland (C), Bugiel (Meekums), Higgs, Okoye, Porter, Ogedi-Uzokwe, Luque (De Silva), Wood (Taylor), Rooney
Unused substitute: D.Johnson