15 July 2023

Ravens draw 3-3 as Fulham visit in pre-season friendly

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Ravens draw 3-3 as Fulham visit in pre-season friendly

Andy Woodman’s Bromley welcomed a youthful Fulham side to Hayes Lane for a sunny Saturday encounter in Bromley’s second friendly of the season, following a captivating win against Dulwich Hamlet on Tuesday night to grasp the Glyn Beverly Memorial Cup with both hands, after a dramatic penalty shootout saw the young Ravens come out on top. A duo of trialists also joined the battle against the Premier League side, adding to the Ravens’ wealth of talent.  

Fulham got the game underway, and it was the boys in black and white who were the slightly superior side in the opening few minutes; neither side could assert control over the game, with a clear lack of chances. 

A mazy run from Callum Reynolds earned the Ravens a dangerous opportunity from a Corey Whitely free kick, with the winger attempting to reincarnate his stunning set-piece goal from last pre-season against Arsenal; his effort glanced just wide of the post. 

Promising player Josh Passley proved why he is one of the newest recruits, etching his name into the game through a ravishing chip into the area, met exquisitely by the boot of tricky winger Louis Dennis, as a scintillating swivel granted him the space to fire past Fulham ‘keeper Alfie McNally. 

The reprieve was short lived for the hosts, however, and a James Vennings heavy touch was punished by the visitors – after a series of punchy passes, Fulham number eight Oliver Sanderson directed his effort into the corner of the goal, leaving Chelsea loanee Teddy Sharman-Lowe with no chance of denying. 

Fulham star man Sanderson nearly notched a second; this time, a brave display of goalkeeping from Sharman-Lowe denied the striker, and minutes later, the Bromley ‘keeper was called into action again, with a fabulous save to force the ball onto the hand of Sanderson, winning the Ravens a free kick. 

Besart Topalloj tried his luck from range on the half hour mark, forcing a comfortable save from McNally. A sly tug on the shirt of Dennis allowed Bromley another chance to test the Fulham number one, but James Vennings’ effort struck the wall. 

However, Vennings refused to be deterred, and after a clever dispossessal in the middle of the park, the virtuoso unleashed a fiery rocket towards goal, hurtling into the top corner of McNally’s goal. 

Passley persisted in probing down the right hand side, causing problems for the Fulham backline, with the ex-Havant and Waterlooville man raining down a torrent of crosses, eager to add to his earlier assist. 

Despite an occasional chance for Fulham, it was Bromley that entered half time in front, the scoreline of 2-1 matching the performance displayed by either side, with the Ravens’ sunny spells of possession allowing them to take the game to the visitors. 

A double substitution for Bromley in the second half saw highly sought after goalkeeper Grant Smith replace Sharman-Lowe, as well as Dennis making way for Adam Marriott. 

The Ravens picked up where they left off, and a lay-off to Jude Arthurs following tidy link-up play around the six yard box nearly resulted in a third for the hosts; the young midfielder’s effort flew narrowly over the bar. 

Fulham’s attempt to keep a lid on Passley was unsuccessful, with the attacking full back’s play style mirroring the nature of the weather: volatile, unpredictable and impossible to read. 

Bromley’s chance to extend their lead presented itself in the 65th minute – a darting run from prolific bagsman Michael Cheek saw him one-on-one with McNally; the latter was forced into a sublime save, denying a cheeky chip. 

Smith exhibited his goalkeeping excellence following a teasing free kick, but a moment of hesitation from the Bromley backline was capitalized on by Fulham number 11 Terrell Works, as he struck the ball mercilessly into the back of the net to level the scoreline. 

An eventful period followed, with Woodman making good use of his substitutions as nine new players entered proceedings, two new trialists among them.  

Bromley youngster Rhys Wyborn showed his promise down the left hand side, and an 80th minute cross into the box from the number 33 appeared lethal; nobody in black and white could get on the end of it. 

At the other end, the team in green notched ahead of the hosts following an intellectual dribble and finish from substitute Callum McFarlane, with the number 18 effortlessly brushing the ball past the outstretched glove of Smith. The visitors were not in front for long, however, and an effective anticipation from Wyborn put the ball on a plate for young star George Alexander, who tapped home for the easiest goal he’ll score all season. 

The referee’s final whistle marked a 3-3 draw, a seemingly fair result, with both sides displaying moments of brilliance as well as undoubtedly providing an array of highly impressive goals.  

Watch Andy Woodman’s post-match interview below

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