A top of the table clash where FC Halifax Town were the visitors to Hayes Lane. Both teams’ level on points with just goal difference separating the two sides. The hosts have lost three of their last four games whilst Town haven’t won in three games in all competitions.
Bromley started the better of the two sides in the opening ten minutes but the final ball was lacking. A nice one-two between Luke Coulson and Michael Cheek almost saw the forward through on goal but too much weight on the pass stopped the home side getting in on goal.
A coming together between Coulson and Jerome Binnom-Williams led to a free kick just inside the Bromley half. Charlie Cooper thought he would try his luck by catching Ryan Huddart off guard in the hosts goal, but his 40-yard effort went just wide of the far post.
Halifax counter attacked down the right and were able to get a cross in. It was cut back to Cooper who was unable to direct his right footed volley either side of Huddart. Halfway through the first half and it was a cagey affair.
It was the Ravens turn to look threatening. A free kick got held up in the wind and the ball fell into the path of skipper Jack Holland, but the ball evaded him and Sam Johnson cleared up comfortably.
It took 40 minutes for either side to really test the oppositions keeper. The home side were awarded a free kick down the right-hand side. It was taken quickly by Adam Mekki and Reeco Hackett-Fairchild but the pass from Hackett to Mekki fell short. A Halifax body was able to clear but only to the left foot of Hackett-Fairchild, whose curled effort rattled the crossbar. The following cross however was claimed by Johnson.
Into the second half. A loose ball broke just inside the Halifax half as Halifax central defender Josh Staunton lost the ball and Mekki was able to break. The winger drove towards the visitor’s defence and unleashed a low drive towards Johnson’s near post but the keeper was able to get down low and palm the ball to safety.
It was the home side who were to get the break through. A deep corner was headed back into the danger area by Joe Kizzi. Michael Klass was able to keep the ball alive as he hooked the ball back across goal and the visitors could only clear to Mekki who was waiting to pounce on the edge of the box. He caught the ball sweetly on the volley and watched it sail in off the post. Deadlock broken.
7 minutes later and the home side doubled their lead. Again, it was via a corner on the left-hand side. Coulson’s corner was heading towards the back post when Hackett-Fairchild got his head to the ball and directed it goal-wards. The ball travelled through a sea of bodies and Johnson was unable to keep it out. An hour gone and the home side were on top.
A third goal for the Ravens and a third goal from a set piece. Hackett-Fairchild this time with an assist as his delivery is met by centre half Chris Bush for his first of the season. A glancing header which found the bottom right-hand corner. Three goals in thirteen minutes.
Moments later and it was almost four. Coulson found himself in acres of space in the final third and unleashed an effort which Johnson struggled to deal with. The second ball only led to a Halifax free kick after Cheek was penalised for a foul on Michael Duckworth.
With twenty minutes to go Binnom-Williams was shown a second yellow card after a mis timed challenge on Bromley midfielder Josh Rees.
The midfielder involved in the challenge that led to the visitors left back being sent off, was then able to grab his first of the season and Bromley’s fourth of the day. Coulson was played through on goal but a little wider than he would’ve liked. His low cross was diverted towards goal by defender Nathan Clarke, the ball could’ve gone anywhere but it fell kindly for Rees who slammed the ball home, high into the roof of the net.
Coulson was able to break and play the ball inside to Clifton but his effort was just wide of the post. Moments later it was Corey Henry’s turn to have a go. Johnson couldn’t get a hold of the shot but Clifton was unable to pounce on the loose ball.
Into stoppage time and Bromley were able to get a fifth. A corner taken short was crossed towards the back post where Clifton was able to get his head to the ball. A smart save down low at his near post from Johnson, but a scramble led to Kizzi prodding home from close range.
A game where both sides struggled to get into first gear in the first half but it turned out to be a convincing win and day for the Ravens who see themselves leap frog their visitors into first place. A point ahead of Yeovil.
Bromley XI: Huddart, Kizzi, Wood, Holland (C), Coulson, Cheek (Clifton), Mekki (Edmonds-Green), Bush, Klass, Hackett-Fairchild, Rees (Henry)
Unused subs: Naija, Dunne
Attendance: 2215 (165 away supporters)
Report by Dan Bentley