- Under 21's PDS
4 December 2023
A clinical showing from Bromley at Croft Park on Saturday ensured their passage through to the next round of the Buildbase FA Trophy.
The scoreline did not entirely reflect the game, as a spirited showing from the home side endured Bromley would have to be at their best to prevail.
Despite most of the early possession being kept by the home side, it was Bromley who would take the lead after 15 minutes. Great interplay between George Porter and Omar Bugiel saw the latter float a cross into Josh Rees, who scuffed his initial effort but buried his second, through the legs of Shaun Macdonald.
The National League North side then responded well, keeping the ball and producing some threatening attacks, yet, failed to really test David Gregory.
They would be made to pay for that too, as on 40 minutes, the Ravens doubled their lead. After Adam Mekki found himself through on goal thanks to a Louis Dennis through ball, he poked the ball towards goal but saw it parried away by Macdonald, only for Dennis to be the first to the loose ball, and slot home.
After the break, the home side continued to play some nice football, but as previously, with very little end product.
Three minutes into the second half, Luke Woolfenden went close to scoring his first Bromley goal, but fizzed a dipping volley just wide from around 30 yards out. Jarrett Rivers then made a good run down the left for Blyth and put a low cross into the six yard box, only for there to be nobody on hand to convert it.
Bromley substitute Brett Williams then went close with an audacious drive from 35 yards. After he cut in from the left wing and drifted towards the middle of the park, he let fly from long distance but agonisingly saw his effort cannon off the crossbar.
On 70 minutes, Bromley would extend their lead even further. Excellent wing play from the mercurial Dennis culminated in him cutting in from the right and squaring the ball to Rees, who made no mistake from the edge of the six yard box, curling past Macdonald.
The Spartans did pull one back ten minutes from time, as Greg Rutherford latched onto a flicked header from Dale Hopson and made his way into the penalty area, before dispatching a low, angled drive into the bottom corner.
Bromley nearly reinstated their three goal advantage in the final few minutes, as a slick counter attack saw Luke Wanadio cover a lot of ground before releasing the ball to Williams, who smashed a shot high and wide from a good position on the edge of the box.
However, deep into three minutes of injury time, Bromley wrapped up the tie, and in style. Mekki showed good anticipation to take down a poor goal kick from Macdonald and play a one two with Dennis, before the latter found space just inside the box, and at an angle, curled home a stunning, dipping effort which left Macdonald unmoved.
Bromley XI: Gregory, Rees, Chorley, Holland (C), Raymond (Higgs), Dennis, Sterling, Wanadio, Porter (Mekki), Woolfenden, Bugiel (Williams)
Unused subs: D.Johnson, R.Johnson
Report by Matt Hall