Bromley fell to defeat at the Westminster Waste Stadium on a bitterly cold Tuesday night, as bogey side Braintree Town recorded a 4-2 victory.
Bromley failed to ever get going in the first half, and were punished just six minutes in. With their first real attempt of the evening, Town took the lead. A long ball forward played Virgil Gomis in, and after beating the onrushing David Gregory to the ball on the edge of the box, lobbing the Ravens goalkeeper in the process and watching his effort nestle in the back of the net.
However, on 18 minutes, Bromley would find themselves level. After a slick counter attack, orchestrated by John Goddard, ended in George Porter’s cross being deflected across the face of goal, and home debutant Joe Quigley made no mistake from 8 yards, slotting home before Ashlee Jones could get back across goal.
However, the Ravens parity would be short lived, as the Iron would take the lead once again on 29 minutes. After a poor pass and lapse in communication put an end to a counter attack, Town broke down the right wing and a low cross was collected by Reece Grant on the edge of the six yard box, and he quickly turned and slammed the ball into the net to restore his side’s advantage.
The closest Bromley would come to equalising once more would be moments before half time, as Frankie Raymond’s free kick was flapped at by Ashlee Jones, but Porter was unable to reach the loose ball and prod it home, and the Iron cleared the danger.
Just three minutes into the second half, Braintree would extend their lead. A run from Lyle Della-Verde was not tracked from the half way line, and after brushing off a challenge from Frankie Sutherland, he powered a 20 yard scorcher into the top corner, via a touch from Gregory.
The introduction of Omar Bugiel did swing the game in Bromley’s favour for a period, and just five minutes after coming on, he reduced the deficit. After collecting the ball by the corner of the box, Bugiel used a defender as a screen, curling a 20 yard effort around him and past the unsighted Jones, who had no time to react until the ball had hit the stanchion and crossed the line.
It was Bugiel again who would have the next chance, and after using sheer strength to usher off a defender, he made his way into the box, but lost his balance as he shot, sending an effort well wide. More brilliance from the Lebanese international soon carved another opportunity for the Ravens, but after setting fellow substitute Adam Mekki up in the box, the latter saw his powerful shot well held by Jones.
Despite the Ravens being on top since Bugiel’s introduction, they would be hit with a sucker punch just six minutes from time. After losing possession, Christie Pattison sent an early cross in from the right, and despite a heavy first touch in the box, Grant beat the onrushing Gregory to the ball to poke home his second and all but seal the three points for his side.
In the dying moments, a deep cross from Sam Wood fell to Quigley at the back post, but amongst a sea of bodies, he slipped and was unable to get a shot away.
Bromley XI: Gregory, Sutherland, Holland (C), Raymond, Porter, Ogedi-Uzokwe (Bugiel), Goddard (Mekki), Wood, Brindley, Rooney (Okoye)
Unused substitues: De Silva, Goodman.