18 February 2023

Report & Reaction: Bromley 2-0 Dorking Wanderers

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Report & Reaction: Bromley 2-0 Dorking Wanderers

Written by Daniel Catlin

Bromley welcomed Dorking Wanderers to Hayes Lane this Saturday, with the visitors having lost their previous four away games, and no doubt still haunted by the 3-2 loss against the Ravens earlier on in the season despite their opponents having 10 men. Andy Woodman’s men came into the fixture off the back of a strong midweek 3-2 triumph over Altrincham, and unbeaten in their last seven games at home – this was extended to eight courtesy of goals from Charley Kendall and Omar Sowunmi. 

James McShane kickstarted the game for what promised to be an enthralling game of football, with Dorking’s defensive liability foreshadowing goals galore, and it didn’t take Corey Whitely long to unleash a shot, forcing a brave block from Dorking number 20 Daniel Gallagher, before Louis Dennis won a corner for his side. Jude Arthurs provided a tidy delivery, but Sowunmi couldn’t get anything on it at the back post. 

Five minutes in, a fantastic Whitely ball saw Lincoln loanee Kendall ghost towards the back post, but his effort was thwarted by a fantastic save from Dorking number one Dan Lincoln. 

Ten minutes in, a diagonal ball granted Dorking number 8 Matt Briggs the opportunity to penetrate the cover of the Bromley backline, and his ball across the face of goal was met with a shaky recovery from Reice Charles-Cook, before his parry was cleared. 

Andy Woodman’s men continued to dictate the game with sunny spells of possession allowing them occasional opportunities to break through the Dorking defence, but Dorking continued to probe with chances of their own – pacey winger Sebastian Bowerman danced his way around defenders half an hour in, but any danger was brilliantly quashed with a Sowunmi block. 

Link-up play between Arthurs and Fisher minutes later culminated in a sliding ball across the six yard box, but no-one in black and white could convert. Arthurs was involved again a minute later, when a loose ball allowed him to try his luck with a lob over Lincoln, setting pulses racing but spiralling over the crossbar. 

Whitely’s hypnotising step-overs in the 37th minute won the Ravens a corner, and a Dennis floater was met by captain for the day, Sowunmi, his second consecutive goal and seventh for the season, worsening Dorking’s relegation woes and marking a spell of dominance for the hosts. 

Bromley continued in that vein, but it was the Wanderers with the best chance of the half – the ball was put on a plate for Jason Prior, with his header narrowly evading Charles-Cook’s net, before the linesman’s flag added to the disappointment for Dorking. 

An eventful start to the second half saw little goalmouth action for either side – a drilled delivery in the 51st minute from recent signing and Birmingham loanee Ryan Stirk was the first chance of the half, and Callum Reynolds nearly bundled the ball over the line; the Bromley defender couldn’t quite untangle his legs. 

A Marc White double substitution for Dorking saw two attackers enter the field of play, and a cynical dive by George Francomb 60 minutes in nearly gave one of the two substitutes, James Muitt, the chance to introduce himself to the game after a run in behind from a free kick; the linesman’s raised flag sliced through any hope of an attack. 

Andy Woodman opted for the bench five minutes later, with Dutch star Mitchell Berkgamp coming on for Dennis. 

Seconds later, a mazy run and threaded Whitely through ball saw Kendall breach the boundaries of the Dorking defence, and he crowned a sweeping move with a fabulous finish, beating Lincoln at his near post and opening his account for the Ravens, re-energising the Bromley faithful. 

Kendall pressed for another, and a catch from the Dorking ‘stopper 75 minutes in was all that prevented his header from finding the back of the net. 

Dorking danger-man Ryan Seager nearly netted his 12th of the season 83 minutes in, but Charles-Cook claimed the ball before the substitute could get to it. 

A final substitution was made for Bromley – Kendall made way for Harry Forster, with the tricky winger’s pace having an instant impact and allowing him to shoot from the edge of the Dorking box, a comfortable save for Lincoln. Forster tried again minutes later after Marriott squared it to the number 19, but his effort was once again stopped by the Dorking ‘keeper. 

The referee’s whistle marked a successful afternoon of football for the Ravens, a crucial three points that sees them move up to seventh in the league, a play-off position that they will hope to maintain for the remainder of the season. Meanwhile, this defeat keeps Dorking rooted in 20th, one point away from the dreaded relegation zone. 

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