2 March 2024
A clinical eight minutes of second half football from Bromley saw them to a convincing 3-0 win over visitors FC Halifax Town at The H2T Group Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The first half was a fairly even affair, with both sides having opportunities to open the scoring. Despite some early pressure from Bromley, it was the visitors who would have the first shot on target, with Danny Clarke letting fly from range and seeing his effort heavily deflected, before it was claimed by David Gregory. However, Bromley responded with some superb intricate play, which ended with Adam Mekki producing a fine, floated cross into the six yard area, where Louis Dennis rose highest and nodded the ball at goal, only to be denied by a fine save from Sam Johnson, who flew through the air and clutched the ball.
That was close, but the Ravens would go even closer on 27 minutes. More superb work from Dennis down the wing saw him cross for the onrushing Luke Wanadio at the back post, but, with little time to finish, the winger poked an effort inches wide from close range, albeit from an awkward angle. Just a minute later, the end to end nature of the game continued, as the Shaymen looked to respond, with Clarke again at the forefront, working the ball well on the turn but shooting high and wide. Just as the crowd were beginning to catch their breath, Jack Holland took too long to clear a ball in the Bromley back line, the Ravens captain managed to get rid of the ball, and in fact, turn defence into attack,sending Omar Bugiel through on goal at an angle, but the on-loan Forest Green Rovers man struck a powerful volley swerving wide.
As half time approached, Dennis struck an audacious long range volley wide of Johnson’s goal, before Michael Duckworth forced Gregory into an excellent save at the other end, with the Bromley stopper diving high to his left to tip the ball wide. In first half injury time came another good chance for Bromley, as the impressive Luke Woolfenden danced in and out of challenges to cross the ball low into Josh Rees, who, with his back to goal on the edge of the six yard box, turned and blasted an effort well over the crossbar.
However, after the break, it was all one way traffic. The Ravens took control of proceedings early on and Mekki went close twice in the space of two minutes, seeing a low effort saved before cutting in from the left and shooting across goal, but crucially, inches wide of the post. Yet, after 50 minutes, Bromley grabbed the goal they deserved. After Tyrone Sterling was adjudged to have been fouled out wide, the referee awarded Bromley a free kick in a good position. Up stepped Mekki to take it, and he whipped in a sweet inswinging deliver towards the back post, which was met by the head of Dennis, who directed a bullet header in off the underside of the crossbar.
Four minutes later, Bromley would double their lead. A scramble in the box saw efforts blocked, before Holland got a shot at goal, only to see it saved by Johnson. However, Rees was on hand to tap home the loose ball from close range to give Bromley some breathing space. It was clear to see that the goals had given Bromley more confidence, and this was reflected in some scintillating skill and impressive teamwork from back to front.
On 58 minutes, Bromley would extend their lead even further, in quite bizarre circumstances. More good wing play from Mekki saw him send in a cross which was met by the diving Wanadio at the back post, who would see his header canon agonisingly off the base of the post. Yet, the loose ball found Mekki on the byline, and the wing man crossed low into the box, where Rees was lurking again, and he slid an effort into the net, which appeared to hit the goal stanchion and bounce out. After a period of uncertainty, the linesman signalled for the goal to be awarded, and the referee duly delivered, despite the Halifax players’ protests.
The Shaymen were shellshocked and looked a shadow of the side they were in the first half, as Bromley continued to attack at will. Bugiel used sheer strength and pace to work his way through on goal at an angle, but saw Johnson make an excellent save from his angled drive at goal. Dennis then sent another audacious effort just over, this time lobbing Johnson from the edge of the box but only finding the roof of the net. The Shaymen ‘keeper was again in the thick of it soon after as he made a superb reaction save to deny a long range drive from Mekki, which appeared destined for the top corner.
In the end it was a clinical second half from Bromley, which sealed the three points early on and ensured a move back into the Vanarama National League playoff places.
Bromley XI: Gregory, Rees, Chorley, Holland (C), Raymond (Sutherland), Dennis, Mekki (Porter), Sterling, Wanadio, Woolfenden, Bugiel (Higgs).
Unused subs: D.Johnson, R.Johnson