Bromley made the trip to Cressing Road to take on National League basement outfit Braintree Town on Saturday afternoon, looking to improve on a poor record against the Iron in recent years.
The match began with Bromley on the front foot and went close through Roger Johnson just after the ten minute mark. After he saw a shot blocked by the thigh of Oscar Borg, appeals for handball had the Town defence frozen and not alert to George Porter’s cross back into the box, which was met by the head of JJ Hooper only for Ben Killip to make an easy save.
However, Bromley would take the lead with their next attack, and it was the lively Reeco Hackett-Fairchild who would play a key part. After latching onto a well timed through ball from Richard Brindley down the right hand side of the penalty area, the on-loan Charlton Athletic man took the ball in his stride and laid it back to Porter in the middle of the box, and he sent a low strike goalwards, which deflected beyond Killip and into the net.
After Luke Coulson’s volley from just inside the box had been saved by Killip on 20 minutes, he wasn’t to be denied a second time just a minute later. A defence splitting pass from Hackett-Fairchild fell to the feet of Coulson in the box, and after shrugging off the challenge of a defender, he rounded the advancing Killip and slotted coolly into the empty net to double Bromley’s lead.
Bromley should have gone three goals up on 40 minutes, but were denied by some fantastic goalkeeping. After Hooper found himself with Hackett-Fairchild in support inside the box, he squared the ball to him on the edge of the six yard box, but with only Killip to beat, the Bromley man was denied the goal his performance deserved by a fantastic reaction save.
However, the dominant Ravens would score a third just moments after three minutes of additional time were signalled. More nice build up play ended in Coulson feeding the ball to Raymond 20 yards from goal, and with a clean sight on the target, the latter let fly with a thunderous first time effort, which curled beyond the reach of Killip and went in off the post.
In the second half, it would take a matter of seconds for Bromley to go close again. More good work from Porter saw him carve space for Hackett-Fairchild, who drove towards the box and took a shot from 20 yards, only for it to curl agonisingly wide of Killip’s goal.
Porter then sent a perfectly timed through ball to meet the run of Hooper, who had got the better of the Town defence and went through towards goal, but as he pulled the trigger to shoot, former Bromley winger Iffy Allen made a last ditch tackle to deny his effort.
However, as the Iron looked to find a route back into the game, it would be them who would score next. Kodi Lyons-Foster rose highest to meet a corner and send a bullet header beyond David Gregory to give his side some hope.
However, any hope the hosts had would be short lived as on 66 minutes Bromley extended their lead. Another piece of brilliance from Hackett-Fairchild saw him keep the ball in play before beating his man and finding Coulson, who sent a low cross into the centre of the box, where top scorer Hooper swept home to make it four.
Porter could have netted his second and Bromley’s fifth after 77 minutes, but after working his way into the box, he saw a low effort tipped around the post by Killip.
Deep into injury time, Braintree would grab a further consolation. Substitute Mohamed Sagaf took aim from 25 yards and beat Gregory with a stunning dipping effort to reduce the deficit.
Almost immediately, Bromley attacked and looked to make it five. Substitute Dennon Lewis broke through on goal and slotted the ball beyond Killip, only for it to hit the inside of the post and roll across the line, before being cleared.
The Ravens held on for their first win at Cressing Road since November 2010, and cross the 50 point mark in the National League.
Bromley XI: Gregory, Johnson, Holland (C), Sarpong-Wiredu (Sutherland), Raymond, Porter (Lewis), Hackett-Fairchild, Wood, Brindley, Coulson, Hooper (Bugiel)
Unused substitutes: Dunne, Higgs