Bromley made the trip to the SportNation.Bet Stadium on Saturday evening, to take on Solihull Moors in front of the BT Sport cameras.
The match was set up to be an interesting one, with Solihull having recorded five home wins from five matches thus far, scoring 13 goals in the process and not conceding one. Similarly, Bromley hadn’t lost on the road all season.
It was the Ravens who started on the front foot, and they kept it that way for the entire first half. Just two minutes in, Luke Coulson struck a half volley narrowly wide after the hosts couldn’t clear a long throw from Chris Bush.
The hosts would respond eight minutes later, as the experienced Adam Rooney shielded the ball from the Bromley defence deep inside the box, laying it back to Joe Sbarra, but he couldn’t connect well with his shot and Mark Cousins was able to make a simple save.
A minute later, the ball broke for Rooney in the box again, but with his back to goal, he attempted an audacious overhead kick, but failed to connect well enough to trouble Cousins.
Then came the best chance of the game, and it fell Bromley’s way. Michael Cheek latched onto an excellent long ball and drove at goal from an angle, but his low shot towards the near post was well saved by Ryan Boot.
Reeco Hackett-Fairchild had been combining well with Bush, and it almost paid off on 23 minutes. The latter found the former in space in the box, but he could only fire into Boot’s arms. Moments later, Ben Williamson, who was making his return to the XI, had two shots blocked as he looked to find space in the box and trouble Boot.
He would again have a chance just after the half hour mark, but his curling effort from the edge of the box was no trouble for Boot.
Tyrone Williams almost became an unlikely hero for Bromley, but his blushes were spared, as his looping header from Luke Coulson’s inswinging cross evaded the goal by inches.
However, after more persistent build up play, Bromley would take the lead on the stroke of half time. Hackett-Fairchild found Bush on the overlap out wide, and he delivered a pinpoint, low ball into the box, which evaded everyone, other than Cheek, who powered home from the back post.
In the second half, the hosts applied a considerable amount of pressure on the Ravens, yet, failed to really test Cousins on more than one occasion.
A professional performance from Bromley, who looked to protect their lead, restricted the hosts to few shots on target.
The first chance of note for either side fell to the Moors, and it was substitute Jamie Ward who created it. The winger cut in from the right with pace and struck a curling effort, only for it to take a considerable deflection and wrong foot Cousins. That said, the Bromley man reacted well to get down to his right and make the save.
Four minutes from time, fellow substitute Callum Maycock almost grabbed a late leveller, but he couldn’t quite get enough of a touch on a deflected cross, and prodded into Cousins’ arms.
The Ravens should have wrapped it up on two occasions late on. Firstly, Hackett-Fairchild went close to scoring directly from a corner, but Boot did just about enough to keep the ball out at the near post, with no red shirts on hand to profit.
As injury time drew on, James Alabi almost had an immediate impact. Excellent play from Joe Kizzi saw him get the better of Jordan Cranston and surge into the box, but after pulling the ball back for Alabi, Boot was on hand to make a great save.
The Ravens held on to become the first side to score, and win, at the SportNation.Bet Stadium so far this season, and will go into next week’s FA Trophy tie full of confidence.
Bromley XI: Cousins, Kizzi, Bingham, Bush, Coulson, Cheek (Alabi), Hackett-Fairchild (Raymond), Roberts, Trotter, Webster (C), Williamson (Holland)
Unused substitutes: Purrington, Forster