8 December 2023
Bromley 0-0 Gateshead
Bromley and Gateshead met for the fourth and final time this season at The H2T Group Stadium on Saturday afternoon, as the two had previously played out a two-legged Buildbase FA Trophy Semi-Final, in which Bromley had of course prevailed to reach the hallowed turf of Wembley Stadium.
It was the visitors who would have the first sight of goal, and Kieran Green would be the man to have it. After cutting inside and surging towards the box, he let fly from 20 yards, but saw his stinging effort blocked by Tyrone Sterling and then cleared away by Adam Mekki.
Sterling himself would have Bromley’s first chance, and it nearly resulted in his first Ravens goal. He received the ball out wide on the left, and cut inside, before unleashing a fizzing drive, which skimmed the top of the roof of the net.
After 15 minutes came another good opportunity for Bromley. A pinpoint cross into the six yard box from Mekki was battled for by James Montgomery in the Gateshead goal and Frankie Sutherland. Neither of them could get enough on the ball, and instead it fell into the path of Jordan Higgs at the back post, but he saw his volley blocked and cleared.
Mekki and Brandon Hanlan then produced some good interplay, and it resulted in the latter taking a touch at the corner of the penalty area and shooting low, only to see it blocked by Fraser Kerr. Mekki then tried his luck from what must have been 30 yards moments later, as he cut in from the left wing and unleashed a piledriver at goal, which was gathered by Montgomery at the second attempt.
On 36 minutes, Jordan Preston, who had entered the fray after just 13 minutes of the match due to an injury to Lewis McNall, would have a golden opportunity to give his side the lead. Richard Peniket caught Luke Woolfenden napping and latched onto a lofted ball down the left wing, before cutting in and putting the ball on a plate for Preston, who took a touch and shot wide from just inside the area. With the time and space he had, he should have done better.
In the second half, the two sides would be cancelled out by each other, and chances would be at a premium until the final ten minutes.
On 70 minutes, after some half chance, as well as a majority of the 25 minutes played thus far seeing the sides very much cancel each other out, Preston saw a low shot deflected harmlessly into the arms of David Gregory, as a goalless draw seemed very much in the offing.
Nine minutes from time, came perhaps the best opportunity for Bromley all game. After a strong run, substitute Louis Dennis ghosted into the box and fired an angled drive towards Montgomery’s near post, only to see the Heed stopper react well to tip it around the post.
They would see another good chance fall their way just two minutes later, as great work down the right wing from Josh Rees ended in a perfectly timed cross meeting the head of the onrushing Omar Bugiel, who directed a header from the centre of the box straight at Montgomery.
Two minutes after that, Rees would see an angled volley deflected into the grateful arms of Montgomery, as time was running out for either side to find a winner. As injury time loomed, Dennis worked himself into space inside the box after dispossessing Theo Vassell, and beared down on goal from the left, but ultimately took too much time to get a shot away, and was tackled before he could pull the trigger.
The Ravens are back on the road next time out, as a trip to the Deva Stadium beckons on Tuesday 10th April, kickoff 7:45pm.
Bromley XI: Gregory, Chorley, Holland (C), Raymond (Bugiel), Hanlan, Mekki (Dennis), Higgs, Sterling, Porter (Rees), Sutherland, Woolfenden.
Unused subs: D.Johnson, Wanadio.
Attendance: 1,035 (31 away supporters)
Report by Matt Hall – @hally_matt