Bromley hosted tenants Cray Wanderers at Hayes Lane on Saturday afternoon, renewing one of the most friendly rivalries in football.
The first chance fell the way of the Hayes Lane landlords, and it was trialist Reece Meekums who would have it. After receiving the ball from Frankie Raymond, the former Brighton and Hove Albion winger drove at goal and shot from 25 yards, only for Nick Blue to make a good diving save, tipping the ball wide of goal.
The next chance of note again fell Bromley’s way, after 26 minutes. Great work from George Porter in the box saw him feed the ball to Tobi Adebayo-Rowling, who cut inside and floated a ball towards the back post, but the lively Meekums could only stab it wide from a matter of yards out.
Despite Cray playing some neat football, they rarely threatened David Gregory’s goal, and Bromley would take advantage of this just a minute before half time. Kyle De Silva took down Blue’s headed clearance, and with the goalkeeper away from his line, De Silva took the ball around him and a defender, before cutting it back across goal for early substitute Bobby-Joe Taylor to slot home for his second goal of pre-season.
After the break, the game stepped up a notch, and Bromley would be the side to score the next goal and double their lead, just four minutes in. Fantastic wing play from Adebayo-Rowling down the right ended in an outswinging cross towards the back post, where Dan Johnson was on hand to stoop at the back post and beat Blue with a diving header.
A Wands player would see red with 14 minutes left on the clock, after he inexplicably ran up behind Frankie Raymond and struck him on the back of the head, prompting a scuffle, which was stopped by a combination of players from both sides, yet, the referee had no option other than to produce a straight red card for the substitute.
There were few chances of note in between the goal and the 79 minute mark, however, the Ravens could easily have extended their lead further with just 11 minutes left on the clock, as academy scholar Riphi Kalala’s excellent cross was headed into the side netting by Jordan Higgs at the far post. Another academy scholar, Klaudio Krasniqi, nearly scored with his first touch, but after receiving a pass from Adebayo-Rowling just outside the box, he saw a low shot go inches wide of Blue’s right hand post.
In an end to the game which saw several academy players feature and impress, Aiden Enver shot just wide, before curling a powerful free kick at goal, which was well saved by Blue, in the last meaningful kick of the game.
Bromley next host Crystal Palace on Tuesday 17th July at the Westminster Waste Stadium, kickoff 7:45pm.
Bromley XI: Gregory, Adebayo-Rowling, D.Johnson, Goodman, R.Johnson (Kalala), Holland (C), De Silva (Enver), Raymond (Krasniqi), Bugiel (Taylor), Porter (Gnahore/O’Halloran), Meekums (Higgs).
Unused subs: Huxter (GK), Cripps, Peter-Brown.