Ebbsfleet United took all three points from the first of two festive fixtures against Bromley, battling to a 2-1 victory at Stonebridge Road in a competitive local derby.
It was Fleet who would take the lead just before the 15 minute mark. Danny Kedwell was the first to a loose ball and was given too much time and space to chest it into the path of Jack Powell, who buried a first time volley into the bottom corner from just outside the box. Bromley would be frustrated to have conceded at this stage, against the run of play.
However, any frustration felt was channelled correctly, as less than five minutes later, they were level. Superb play from George Porter saw him receive the ball out wide before beating Jack Connors into the box and laying the ball back to the onrushing Louis Dennis, who slotted across the diving Nathan Ashmore and into the bottom corner.
The Fleet threatened to respond straight away as Luke Coulson crashed a curling effort against the crossbar, as the game began to open up even more.
Unfortunately for Bromley, this resulted in a second goal for the home side. Coulson, who was proving to be something of a handful for the Ravens’ back line, took down a pass in the box and scooped the ball over his man before shooting towards the bottom corner. His shot was parried by David Gregory, but only into the path of the lurking Danny Kedwell, who could not miss from 5 yards, and tapped home.
Luke Wanadio could and perhaps should have levelled things up again minutes later. He latched onto an angled through ball from Dennis but didn’t shoot first time, instead taking a touch and steadying himself, only to shoot straight at Ashmore.
On the stroke of half time, Dennis would go close, seeing his low, curling effort deflected wide after some intricate build up play.
After the break, the competitive nature of the game did not subside. Less than five minutes in, Coulson hit the crossbar again after Bromley failed to clear their lines from a free kick.
Bromley played some good football but were frustrated in their attempts to get past the Fleet back line, with the final ball lacking at times.
As time drew on, substitute Brett Williams forced a good reaction save from Ashmore, heading Dennis’ inswinging cross towards goal, only to see the former Gosport Borough ‘keeper tip it around the post.
Dennis then shot just wide after being set by Adam Mekki, before curling a tame free kick into Ashmore’s arms from the edge of the box. It would be him too who would miss a golden opportunity to snatch a draw with virtually the last kick of the game. A long throw from Porter was inadvertently headed into the in-form Dennis’ path at the back post, but he couldn’t direct his side- footed effort goalwards, instead scuffing it wide.
Bromley XI: Gregory, Rees (Chorley), Holland (C), Raymond (Williams), Dennis, Higgs, Sterling, Wanadio (Mekki), Porter, R.Johnson, Woolfenden.
Unused subs: D.Johnson, Vose.