5 December 2023
Maidenhead United travelled to Hayes Lane this Saturday, having won just one of their last five games away from home and slumped in 16th place in the league. The Ravens came into the fixture thirsty for revenge after a disappointing 1-0 loss at York Road in October – Andy Woodman’s side sought to progress in their surge for a play-off place and extend their six game unbeaten streak at home – this was confirmed thanks to a late Louis Dennis strike.
Dennis kick-started the game, and it was Bromley who dictated the tempo in the first five minutes, with pleasing passages of play that gave very little opportunity for Maidenhead to assert any control over the game.
A misplaced Byron Webster pass across the face of goal in the 12th minute saw defender Callum Reynolds the first name into the book after he was forced into a clumsy challenge, and gave Maidenhead the chance to introduce themselves to the game through a free kick. Charlee Adams’ first shot was blocked, and his second bite at the cherry was no more successful, with goalkeeper Reice Charles Cook gathering comfortably.
Bromley skipper Webster redeemed himself minutes later, keeping Magpies danger man Emile Acquah at bay as his shot was blocked, and at the other end, a hazardous punch away by Maidenhead number 31 Alexis Andre Jr gave Corey Whitely the chance to shoot, only for the numerous bodies in the box to repel the effort.
It was clear that Bromley had the upper hand, and some tidy footwork from Lincoln loanee Charley Kendall in the 18th minute allowed Dennis to try his luck from range, with only a Cole Kpekawa block stopping the Ravens going ahead.
The Ravens continued to dominate possession, but a 32nd minute corner gave Maidenhead the chance to turn the tables on Bromley; the chance was not capitalised on, with Charles-Cook’s solid hands meeting the ball before any Maidenhead player could pounce.
A controversial foul given against Whitely saw another Adams free kick lofted into the box, only to be sliced through by the raised flag of the linesman, much to the frustration of the Maidenhead fans.
Hayes Lane was graced with a 42nd minute Jude Arthurs floating free kick, but the head of Kpekawa extinguished any flames of a Bromley goal on the stroke of half time.
The half didn’t end there though – sloppy play from Vennings on the half way line granted Reece Smith the chance to run at the Bromley defence, but a well-timed Whitely challenge thwarted the number 17, with the referee’s whistle shortly after signalling the end of a goalless half.
Adams restarted second half proceedings, and Andy Woodman’s men were quick to pick up where they left off, reasserting control over the visitors.
Maidenhead continued to threaten from set pieces, but they failed to faze the Bromley back line. That was until the 56th minute, as a goalmouth scramble, courtesy of an Adams free kick, saw Acquah net his ninth of the season, bundling the Magpies in front.
This disappointment for the Ravens was combatted with a double substitution, seeing Harry Forster and Omar Sowunmi deployed by Andy Woodman, and the latter was called into action immediately, as he came up against tricky winger Ashley Nathaniel-George, who danced his way through the Bromley box, before blazing over.
Alan Devonshire followed suit with his double substitution in the 66th minute, before Woodman went one better, taking off Jude Arthurs for Mitchel Berkgamp, with the Dutchman adding a much needed injection of energy to the Bromley attack.
Fans behind the goal grew even more vociferous as play progressed, and a thunderous Omar Sowunmi shot in the 80th minute sparked an eruption of noise from the Bromley faithful. Emotions climaxed a minute later when number 11 Dennis unleashed a ferocious shot, with the ball driving towards Andre Jr’s goal and veering away from the despairing keeper to draw the Ravens level.
Dennis’ sixth of the season was all that was needed to shift Bromley up a gear, but the referee seemed adamant to abolish any chance of a winner, refusing to award any decisions Bromley’s way.
Prolific number nine Michael Cheek came agonisingly close to prodding the Ravens in front when his deflected effort edged the wrong side of the post. More drama followed, as Forster burst forward, allowing him to beat his man before teeing up Dennis for a free header, only for the Bromley legend’s attempt to be cleared off the line.
Despite Bromley’s dominance for the majority of the game, a point was all that Andy Woodman’s men were granted, seeing Bromley slip to eighth in the league, with Maidenhead remaining rooted in 16th.