2 March 2024
Braces from Brad Inman and Ian Henderson ensured Bromley bowed out of the FA Cup at the first round stage, losing out 4-0 to League 1 outfit Rochdale.
The home side started on the front foot and went close twice in the opening minute, first through Matty Done and Ian Henderson, with the former scuffing an effort when he should have tapped home from the six yard box, and then the latter curling an effort just wide.
Two minutes after that, Kgosi Ntlhe made a great run into the area and beat his man, before crossing for Inman, who slotted an effort just the wrong side of the post.
However, Dale didn’t need to wait long to score, and it was Inman who would put them ahead. On the ten minute mark, Ntlhe delivered a ball into the feet of the waiting Inman, who took the ball round his man and slotted across goal, into the bottom corner, past David Gregory.
Bromley were then awarded a free kick just outside the Dale box in a central position after Luke Wanadio was fouled. Louis Dennis laid the ball off to Brett Williams, who crashed a shot into the home side’s wall.
Nlthe then hit the post with a header from a Henderson cross, before Bromley lost Roger Johnson due to injury, with the centre back being replaced by Frankie Sutherland in a tactical reshuffle. However, Bromley’s task was then to become even tougher, as Dale were awarded a soft penalty. Wanadio was adjudged to have fouled Joe Rafferty as he surged at goal from the right. Henderson stepped up to take the spot kick and sent Gregory the wrong way, doubling his side’s lead.
Josh Rees could have halved the deficit two minutes before half time, but after a corner unexpectedly fell to his feet, he blasted an effort over the crossbar from midway inside the penalty area.
After the break, though Bromley started brightly, the home side would extend their lead after 55 minutes. Dan Johnson headed a corner wide for Bromley and straight from the goal kick, Inman took the ball down and slotted beyond Gregory, in what can only be described as a sucker punch of a goal.
Frankie Sutherland nearly pulled one back for Bromley on 70 minutes, but his outside of the boot effort from an angle was tipped behind for a corner, which eventually came to nothing. However, as much as Bromley sought a goal, the mountain they needed to climb became even steeper, as Williams was shown a straight red card for an off the ball incident.
From there, Bromley fell further behind with six minutes remaining. Jordan Higgs attempted clearance in the penalty area was blocked by Henderson, who then curled past Gregory from the edge of the six yard box.