Neil Smith’s men made the journey to York Road to face a familiar foe in Maidenhead United on Saturday.
The Ravens would not have arrived in Berkshire with fond memories, having lost out by 5 goals to 2 back in April, in what was the final league fixture of last season.
The opening stages of the match saw Bromley adopt what seemed to be a counter attacking mentality, with quick breaks being made after Maidenhead attacks had broken down. The first of these saw the ball well worked from front to back and left to right, but George Porter was unable to apply the finish, scuffing his effort into Carl Pentney’s arms.
On 22 minutes, a well rehearsed Bromley set piece was played into the danger zone by Frankie Raymond, but Roger Johnson, at full stretch, couldn’t direct his header goalwards.
A quite brilliant move followed, in which Raymond took down a Sam Wood cross with composure in the box, heading it to Omar Bugiel, who knocked a cross back into the six yard box, where Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe would have had a tap in, but for Alan Massey’s interception and clearance.
The Ravens would call Pentney into action again for the second time on 29 minutes, when a corner from Raymond was met by the rising Marc-Anthony Okoye, but he could only direct his header downwards and into Pentney’s arms.
Just four minutes later, Maidenhead would take the lead. Having had plenty of attacks but not testing Ravens goalkeeper David Gregory, Bromley would be left feeling a little frustrated. Josh Kelly’s flick on from a route one long ball was latched onto by Bromley nemesis Adrian Clifton on the left side of the box, and he made no mistake, dispatching a low strike across goal and into the bottom corner.
Bromley were then gifted a chance to equalise six minutes before the break. A Raymond free kick was swung into the box with purpose and met by Bugiel, who saw a flicked header deflect off a United defender’s head and goalwards, only for the jumping Okoye to inadvertently get in the way of the flight of the ball and hook it over the crossbar.
Bromley started the second half on the attacking front, and could have registered an equaliser from another Raymond free kick, but Okoye could only head wide at the far post. A similar set piece just after the hour mark was glanced wide by Ogedi-Uzokwe, as Bromley pushed for an equaliser.
However, just two minutes later, the Ravens would go 2-0 down. Good work down the left wing from Rene Steer engineered some space for Clifton to feed the ball to Kelly, who, with magical footwork, turned in and out of challenges in the box and thumped an unstoppable effort into the near top corner. The hosts had plenty of possession and attacks in the lead up to the goal, but again, hadn’t significantly tested Gregory.
However, most of the drama would be saved for injury time, as Bromley were about to stage something quite remarkable. As the additional time board was shown by the fourth official, Bromley were awarded a free kick right on the edge of the box. Substitute Frankie Sutherland stepped up against a wall which seemed like the entire Magpies side were crowded into. He stepped up with purpose, but scooped a curling effort over the crossbar.
However, Sutherland would have a vital part to play just moments later. Following his corner delivery into the box, Okoye was pulled down by Jordan Archer, and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
Up stepped Sutherland, fresh from scoring spot kicks against Wrexham and Dover Athletic earlier this season, and again made no mistake, firing into Pentney’s bottom right corner, which the Magpies stopper couldn’t handle, despite diving the right way.
What followed was quite incredible. After a poor centre from Maidenhead gifted Reece Meekums possession, he headed the ball back to Gregory. The Bromley goalkeeper launched a ball up towards the penalty area, where Johnson, playing as a forward, flicked a ball into the box, which was missed by everyone other than Ogedi-Uzokwe, who prodded into the path of Porter, allowing him to set himself and remain composed, before slamming home into the top corner.
Despite a late free kick apiece for the two sides, the score remained level, with the points being shared.
The Ravens are next in action on Tuesday 4th September, as Barnet visit Hayes Lane. Book your tickets in advance and save money by clicking here.
Bromley XI: Gregory, Okoye, Goodman, R. Johnson (c), Wood, Porter, Raymond, Higgs (Sutherland), Goddard (Taylor), Ogedi-Uzokwe, Bugiel (Meekums).
Unused substitutes: Adebayo-Rowling, D. Johnson.