Bromley put Tuesday’s defeat well behind them, as they emphatically ran out 4-0 winners at home to an impressive Hartlepool side, albeit, the score line not telling the whole story of the match.
The opening 10 minutes of the match was a cagey affair, with neither team establishing a dominance on the ball. With chances few and far between, the game sparked into life on the 10-minute mark, with Omar Bugiel having his penalty appeals waved away by the referee. However, 2 minutes later Adam Mekki was brought down, and that time the referee awarded the penalty to Bromley. Frankie Sutherland stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way to score from the spot, putting Bromley 1-0 up after 12 minutes.
The home side should’ve doubled their lead when George Porter rose highest after good work from Adam Mekki out wide, but the header went narrowly wide.
After the goal, the game opened up and it became an end to end affair, with both teams creating attacking opportunities. Richard Brindley got some joy down the right hand side for Bromley but ultimately the chances came to nothing.
Before that there was a coming together between Frankie Raymond and Hartlepool’s Liam Noble, with the former staying down and holding his head. It was then Hartlepool’s turn to have a strong penalty appeal turned down, Peter Kioso, appeared to be pulled down in the area from a corner but the referee was not interested. 20 minutes in and Hartlepool were trying to gain control of the match and retained the ball well. After working an extraordinary chance, Marcus Dinanga somehow couldn’t put the chance away even with David Gregory scrambling and being 10 yards out, he couldn’t guide the ball on target. It was a big let off for the Ravens.
Hartlepool provided some more excellent build up play, but couldn’t quite get the final ball right but they looked dangerous going forward and with half an hour played, Hartlepool were comfortably the better side but they remained a goal behind. The away side had joy down their right-hand side with Ryan Donaldson and Nicky Featherstone linking up well and it required some excellent defending from Jack Holland to stop Hartlepool getting a clear shooting chance from 8 yards out.
35 minutes played and Bromley defended like it was the last 5 minutes of a cup tie, everyone behind the ball and scrambling it away at every opportunity, but Hartlepool kept coming back. The visitors tried their luck on the other wing and had a flurry of crossing opportunities from the left-hand side. Mark Kitching was able to deliver a dangerous ball into the box, but under pressure Niko Muir, couldn’t quite guide it on target.
The second half started as the first ended, with Hartlepool on top, and again a great cross couldn’t be converted by Kioso who had a free header at the near post. However, compared to the first half Bromley were able to break and run at the Hartlepool defence. The other difference was Bromley winning more second balls from headers down.
Hartlepool had the chance to counter attack and they did break quickly but they delayed the final ball out wide, where the ball eventually found its way out to Niko Muir who had his shot excellently blocked by Brindley.
Hartlepool are then made to pay for their missed opportunities. Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe had been on the pitch 20 seconds when he nearly got on the end of a header from George Porter that came back across the box. As Hartlepool looked to break another excellent challenge from Brindley won the ball high up the field, he played in Bugiel, who fired home from 12 yards out to double Bromley’s advantage.
Hartlepool were in no way out of the game, they continued to push forward and stuck to their tactics of keeping the ball down to play how they wanted to but no one would take a shot for them. It allowed Bromley to regroup and get men behind the ball and defend the crosses comfortably or swarm the ball and get the ball to safety.
Some slack possession by Hartlepool again in the middle of the pitch allowed Brindley to win the ball back and break. It became a 3 on 3 situation, and Brindley waited until he had 2 runners and chose Bugiel, who got in front of Kioso. The Lebanese forward was brought down in the box for Bromley’s second penalty of the afternoon. Kioso received a second yellow card and was sent off. Sutherland stepped up once again and with an exact replica of the first penalty, he put the ball in the bottom left with Scott Loach diving the wrong way, 3-0 to Bromley.
There could have been more trouble for Hartlepool when Ryan Donaldson appeared to deny an obvious goal scoring opportunity but the referee opted for yellow deciding there was cover over.
It got even better for Bromley after 85 minutes, the Ravens brimming with confidence found more and more space. Bugiel drove powerfully down the right-hand side and drilled a cross in with Porter and Ogedi-Uzokwe fighting between themselves to put it over the line but it was the former who claimed it, bundling home. Hartlepool dominated possession of the game but they were fully put to the sword, 4-0.
It could’ve got worse for the away side when Kyle De Silva seemed to have a clear chance to get a shot away from the edge of the box but he was thwarted by the Hartlepool defender. However, an excellent performance meant it finished at the Westminster Waste Stadium, Bromley 4, Hartlepool United 0.
Bromley starting XI: David Gregory (GK), Richard Brindley, Roger Johnson, Jack Holland, Sam Wood, Frankie Raymond, Frankie Sutherland, Adam Mekki (Jake Goodman, 74′), George Porter, Joe Quigley (Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe, 60′), Omar Bugiel (Kyle De Silva, 86′) .
Unused subs: John Goddard, Paul Rooney
Attendance: 1,516 (241 away fans)
Man of the Match: Omar Bugiel
Report by Ross Grant