8 December 2023
Bromley welcomed Boreham Wood to Hayes Lane on Easter Monday, hoping to contest their fellow promotion pushers’ play-off spot, with Luke Garrard’s men sat in sixth place, three points ahead of the Ravens, and having won one out of their last five games in the National League. Andy Woodman’s black and white army entered the fixture unbeaten in four games, and off the back of a well-earned 1-1 draw with promotion hopefuls Barnet.
Louis Dennis kick-started the game, with a familiar face featuring for the men in blue, as defender Chris Bush returned to Hayes Lane for the first time since his departure in December.
Boreham Wood were presented with their first chance of the game after a burst of speed from Lee Ndlovu allowed him to cut the ball back for a wide-open George Broadbent on the edge of the box, but the midfielder’s shot somehow found itself blazed over the bar.
It wasn’t long before Bromley returned the favuor, with an exquisite double save from captain Nathan Ashmore the only thing keeping the Ravens at bay, after promising efforts from Corey Whitely and Ryan Stirk.
Both sides continued to probe goalwards, and the 14th minute saw Boreham Wood number 19 Eric Sousa try his luck from a tight angle, his effort nicking against the side of the post. Seconds later, Tyrone Marsh prodded an attempt goalwards; his shot provided no threat, rolling behind for a goal kick.
Visitors’ danger man Ndlovu continued to cause problems for the Bromley backline, teeing up Broadbent for an 18th minute effort, but the number eight’s effort once again evaded the target.
Bromley ‘keeper Reice Charles-Cook passed his first test of the game 22 minutes in, comfortably gathering an ambitious long-range effort from midfielder Zac Brunt.
Bromley edged themselves into the lead 24 minutes in, through a fabulous strike from the inevitable Michael Cheek for his 14th of the season, but the joy was short lived for the Ravens, cancelled out by an Ndlovu curler seconds later, granting the forward double figures for the season after cutting inside and firing low past Charles-Cook.
Both sides seemed obstinate to relent from the end-to-end action as chances ensued for both sides, but neither side could find the back of the net.
The second half saw Bromley race out of the blocks, enjoying sunny spells of possession over the visitors, and the first chance of the half came for the Ravens, as Ryan Stirk’s long range effort arrowed narrowly wide of Ashmore’s post.
Andy Woodman was the first man on the touchline to opt for the bench, introducing rapid winger Harry Forster into proceedings in place of Kellen Fisher, adding to Bromley’s potent attacking threat.
Pulses were elevated in the 74th minute after a defensive scare for the Ravens, as a misplaced back pass to Charles-Cook saw the ‘keeper only just manage to prod the ball out of the reach of Marsh, with the number ten going down in the penalty area; any claims were quickly dismissed by the referee.
A floating Stirk free kick teased its way towards the back post 78 minutes in and was met by the head of skipper Omar Sowunmi, but his nod goalwards edged the wrong side of the post.
Substitutes Adam Marriott and Forster came close to edging their side ahead, but the latter’s ball in could not find its way past the first run. After obtaining possession, a piercing run from Sousa drove the Wood Army forwards, and after jinking away from three men, his shot met the palms of Charles-Cook.
A 91st minute free kick seemed the perfect time for the Bromley Boys to net a winner, but Stirk’s cross could not find anyone in black and white. A short passage of play followed, before a brilliant ball in from Forster found the head of Marriott, whose header flew agonizingly wide of the post.
Despite an action packed affair, neither side could claim all three points, seeing no movements for either in the league table, with Bromley still only two points off a play-off place.
Next up, Gateshead away on Saturday!