Bromley produced a classic smash and grab away performance at the Matchroom Stadium on Saturday afternoon, as the Ravens ensured they did the double over their East London opponents this season.
Despite a bright and promising start to the match from the home side, it would be Bromley who would draw the first attempt on target of the afternoon. A superb counter attack, started by Luke Wanadio, saw him square the ball to Josh Rees in the centre of the park, before it was fed to Adam Mekki, who embarked on a mazy run towards the box, before turning and curling a shot straight into the arms of goalkeeper Dean Brill.
With just four minutes on the clock, Orient’s task was made that much more difficult, as Bondz N’Gala was adjudged to have tripped George Porter, who was the last man and had beat him to a loose ball just outside the penalty area. After a discussion with several players, referee David Rock reached for his pocket and showed N’Gala a straight red card, meaning Orient would have to endure over 85 minutes a man short. The resulting free kick was taken by Dennis but curled harmlessly into the arms of Brill.
Bromley sensed a goal was in the offing and continued to attack a rather shell-shocked Orient, who were in desperate need of a tactical reshuffle. After another slick attack, it was Dennis who would find himself in a good position again and thread a well weighted pass out wide to Wanadio, who fizzed a shot just over the bar from an angle. Bromley continued to dominate for this period as the home side looked to recover from the sending off, but were unable to fashion any further clear cut chances, until the deadlock was broken.
After some patient build up play, Rees took down a pass and played an inch perfect through ball into the box and to the feet of the onrushing Dennis, who took a touch expertly before shifting his weight and coolly slotting underneath Brill and into the bottom corner to give the Ravens the lead.
The O’s nearly equalised after 33 minutes, as James Dayton whipped in an inviting free kick which was met by the head of Josh Coulson, only for him to see his effort crash off the crossbar and be cleared.
Dennis then had two chances, but dragged a shot well wide after being fed by a Porter knock-down, before he was denied by a good interception when about to pull the trigger minutes later. At the other end, in additional time, Luke Woolfenden reacted superbly to head another Coulson effort off the line and out for a corner, with the home side beginning to dominate proceedings.
After the break, it would be Orient who would start the brighter of the sides, in search of an equaliser. Ten minutes into the second half, Coulson was denied again by a goal-line clearance, this time from Frankie Sutherland, as his header had beaten David Gregory, yet, not found the net.
Alex Lawless then tried his luck from the edge of the penalty area with a curling drive, which had many Orient fans on their feet, only for Gregory to dive quickly to his left and tip it wide, in what was an excellent reaction save. From the resulting corner, Craig Clay must’ve thought he’d levelled things up, only to see his diving header hit the top of the crossbar and go out for a goal kick.
Top scorer Macauley Bonne should have done better minutes later, as he met a perfect cross on the edge of the six yard box, but somehow missed the target, heading over when he was unmarked and looked certain to score. Dayton then shot just wide as Orient piled on the pressure, before Bromley substitute Brett Williams hooked a lobbed effort just over the bar after trying to control a high and awkward bounce, before going close with an audacious effort from 35 yards, in which he caught Brill off his line, but could only volley over the bar.
In the dying moments of four minutes’ additional time, Clay shot over from a good position once again, before Bonne missed a golden chance with virtually the last kick of the game, somehow blasting over the bar from the corner of the six yard box after Jake Caprice’s shot had been parried into his path. However, despite throwing everything at Bromley, it wasn’t to be for the home side, as the Ravens left with all three points, to the delight of the 322 travelling support.
Bromley XI: Gregory, Rees, Chorley, Holland (C), Dennis, Mekki (Higgs), Sterling, Wanadio (Raymond), Porter (Williams), Sutherland, Woolfenden.
Unused subs: D.Johnson, Vose.
Attendance: 5,227 (322 away)
Report by Matt Hall