Bromley welcomed Kent rivals Maidstone United to the Westminster Waste Stadium on Saturday afternoon, with the Ravens looking to pull closer to the playoff places and the Stones looking to claim some valuable points to avoid the drop.
It was Bromley who started the brighter of the two sides and JJ Hooper would be the first to go close. After using his strength to hold off the challenges of Shaun Donnellan, he unleashed a right footed volley from the edge of the box, but it was high and wide and no trouble to Dion-Curtis Henry’s goal.
Just a minute later, Bromley would be once again wondering how they didn’t go in front, as an excellent Frankie Raymond corner was whipped in towards the back post, where Marc-Anthony Okoye stooped to head the ball, but could only direct it over the crossbar.
On 20 minutes, the Ravens would go ever closer to breaking the deadlock. After Luke Coulson’s troublesome cross caused mayhem in the United box, Hooper and Omar Bugiel both had shots blocked close to the goal line, before Dan Wishart was able to clear the ball.
The Stones would have their first attempt of the afternoon just shy of the half hour mark, but Jake Cassidy’s 25 yard effort failed to trouble David Gregory, who made a simple save.
Just two minutes later, the Ravens would take the lead. Superb play from Richard Brindley saw him reach the byeline with the ball and lay a pass back into the path of the onrushing Hooper in the centre of the box, and he swept a first time effort beyond Henry in clinical fashion.
Just on the stroke of half time, there were unfortunate scenes as Bromley captain Jack Holland collided with Gregory as he claimed a cross, and was replaced by Jake Goodman for the second half, with George Porter taking the armband.
In the second half, it would be more of the same in the form of Bromley dominating. Just a few seconds in, a long ball forward caught Stones stopper Henry in an awkward position and with George Porter racing towards the ball, the Bromley man beat him to it but couldn’t force the ball home despite assistance from Bugiel.
Just after the hour mark, an inch perfect Frankie Sutherland free kick into the box was prodded towards goal by Hooper, only for Henry to pull off an excellent reaction save, though the linesman’s flag was raised.
The visitors’ only real chance of the game fell to substitute and new signing Justin Amaluzor, who was slipped in on the right hand side of the box, but his low, powerful strike was well saved by Gregory.
Just minutes before the end of the match, as the Stones piled on pressure, Bromley forged a counter attack and could have sealed the game through Coulson, but after being found on the edge of the box, before showing some nice footwork, his driven strike was well saved by the hand of Henry.
However, the Ravens wouldn’t miss their next chance to wrap things up. After Okoye picked up the ball in his own half and showed composure to skip past a challenge, he played an inch perfect lofted ball forward, which met the run of Hooper. After bearing down on goal and going one on one with Henry, he made no mistake, coolly slotting home to seal the points for his side.
Bromley XI: Gregory, Sutherland, Holland (C) (Goodman), Raymond, Bugiel (Higgs), Okoye, Porter, Wood, Brindley, Coulson (Philpot), Hooper.
Unused substitutes: Nakov (GK), Sarpong-Wiredu.