Bromley’s difficult start to March continued at the Chigwell Construction Stadium on Saturday afternoon, as hosts Dagenham & Redbridge eased to a 3-0 victory.
The Ravens made the worst possible start, going a goal down after just 3 minutes and with the hosts’ first attempt of the match. After Marc-Anthony Okoye conceded a free kick just outside the box on the far left, the diminutive Jack Munns floated an excellent ball into the box, which was flicked home by Angelo Balanta with strong assistance from the very heavy wind.
The visitors would double their lead just a matter of minutes later. As Daggers were awarded a free kick just inside the Bromley half, Munns again stepped up to take it and drilled an excellent delivery into the middle of the box, where Conor Wilkinson was on hand to send a looping, first time header under the crossbar and into the net.
Former Dagenham & Redbridge man Frankie Raymond then had a good chance to pull one back against his former side, but fired over the crossbar after skipping past a challenge.
Daggers nearly made it 3-0 on two occasions before the half hour mark. Firstly, the dangerous Wilkinson weaved his way into the box and went one on one with David Gregory, only for the Bromley stopper to make a great save. After that, Munns again created havoc in the Bromley box and fired a low shot towards the bottom corner, which was cleared off the line by Sam Wood.
Bromley’s task was not made any easier at half time, as Marc-Anthony Okoye could play no further part due to an injury, meaning 3 of Bromley’s 4 centre backs were now out of action. Alan Dunne was drafted into the centre back role to replace him.
On 54 minutes, Wilkinson could have extended his side’s lead further, but after being first to a cross into the box, he glanced a header wide of goal when he should have done better. 25 minutes later, he would go through on goal courtesy of a poor backpass from Dunne, but with only Gregory to beat, he shot wide.
In between those two chances, excellent play from Luke Coulson engineered time and space for Raymond to send a cross into the box, but JJ Hooper could only head over the crossbar from close range.
On 71 minutes, Elliott Justham prevented Bromley from getting back into the game with an outstanding save with his foot, after Omar Bugiel had sent a powerful effort goalwards, just about getting his boot to the ball as it looked to cross the line.
That save would be crucial, as the Daggers would extend their lead a minute later. Substitute Chike Kandi had only been on the pitch a matter of minutes when he drove at the Bromley back line from the centre circle, before placing a 25 yard strike into the bottom corner to seal the points.
Hooper was then set to grab a lifeline for Bromley, but after going through on goal, the advancing Justham made a good save to deny him. There were two more chances for the hosts to get a fourth, but after denying Kandi with a quite brilliant save, Gregory picked up a Roger Johnson backpass in the box but atoned for his error, producing a great save to deny Doug Loft from the resulting indirect free kick.
Bromley XI: Gregory, Sutherland (Higgs), Johnson (C), Sarpong-Wiredu, Raymond, Bugiel, Okoye (Dunne), Wood, Brindley, Coulson, Hooper.
Unused substitutes: Meekums, Philpot, Lewis
Attendance: 1186 (138 away)
🏟 ATTENDANCE | 1,186 with 138 Bromley supporters!
— Bromley FC (@bromleyfc) March 9, 2019