5 December 2023
Bromley made it three matches unbeaten with an entertaining 2-2 draw away to FC Halifax Town, in what was a repeat of the scoreline back at Hayes Lane earlier this season.
Bromley manager Neil Smith made three changes to the side that drew with Aldershot Town a week earlier, with Roger Johnson, Jordan Higgs and Brendan Sarpong-Wiredu all earning starting places.
The Ravens started well, and it would be Higgs who would set the tone early on with two good chances. Firstly, he did well to anticipate a long ball forward from Sam Wood and beat Nathan Clarke to it, only to fire a tame effort into Sam Johnson’s arms from just outside the box, though the Town stopper needed two attempts to claim the ball.
Soon after, Higgs cut in from the left and spotted an opportunity to shoot, which he duly did from the corner of the penalty area, only for Johnson to make a smart save and parry the ball, which was swiftly cleared with JJ Hooper lurking.
However, against the run of play, it would be the hosts who took the lead. A short corner involving the tricky Matty Kosylo was whipped into the box and claimed by David Gregory, only for the Bromley stopper to drop the ball in front of Josh Staunton, who reacted quickly to simply head the loose ball over the line.
Roger Johnson went close to equalising for Bromley three minutes before half time, but could only send a free header wide from the edge of the six yard box after reaching Frankie Sutherland’s well weighted corner.
After the break, it was clear to see Bromley continued to be intent on grabbing an equaliser, and they did just that on 53 minutes. Luke Coulson sent a deep cross into the six yard box, which just missed the head of George Porter. It didn’t need a touch though, as Porter’s movement caught out Johnson and his defence, and they could only watch the ball nestle in the bottom corner.
Sarpong-Wiredu and Richard Brindley went close not long after, but both failed to keep their efforts down, seeing them clear the crossbar by some distance.
The tide of the game would then turn somewhat in the Shaymen’s favour. Cameron King grew into the game as time went on, and on 66 minutes, he cut in from the left and found space 25 yards from goal to shoot, only to see Gregory make a fantastic save from his low effort.
Devante Rodney then got the better of Johnson inside the Bromley box and turned, before firing a low strike at goal, only to be superbly denied by Gregory.
Rodney would then have the ball in the net after a flowing team move from Halifax, but his celebrations would be cut short as the flag was raised for offside. However, he wasn’t to be denied just over a minute later.
A clearance from Marc-Anthony Okoye, who had only just entered the fray, ricocheted off the on-loan Salford City man and fell kindly into his path, allowing him to advance towards goal and slip a neat finish beyond Gregory to give his side the lead.
Two minutes later, a bobble in the ground saw Okoye lose control and Rodney again took possession of the ball and surged into the box, but couldn’t keep his shot down.
A change in formation then saw Bromley re-adopt a more attacking stance, and it nearly paid off when Brindley was found in the box by Hooper with twelve minutes remaining, but he could only slam an effort against the base of the post.
However, it was a case of persistence for Brindley, who would get his reward on 84 minutes. After Omar Bugiel beat the onrushing Johnson to a long ball forward, he set it back to Brindley on the edge of the box, who beat the backpeddling hosts’ stopper with a well placed half-volley into the bottom corner.
Bromley would then go on to have the best chance to win the game in the remaining minutes. Top scorer Hooper sent a curling shot on the turn at goal from just inside the box, but when it appeared to be destined for the top corner, the giant Johnson leapt through the air to tip it wide.
Bromley XI: Gregory, Sutherland (Raymond), Johnson, Holland (C), Sarpong-Wiredu (Okoye), Higgs, Porter (Bugiel), Wood, Brindley, Coulson, Hooper.
Unused substitutes: Dunne, Craske
Attendance: 1303 (71 Bromley supporters)