Season in review: September

Action during the Vanarama National League match between Bromley and Chesterfield at Hayes Lane, Bromley, England on 7th September 2019. Photo by Edmund Boyden.

After an impressive first month, Neil Smith’s Bromley side had firmly established themselves as the dark horses of the National League, surprising many with the sheer consistency shown in their opening eight fixtures.

September would begin in front of the BT Sport cameras for Bromley, who faced an unusual Wednesday night contest with Dagenham & Redbridge at the Chigwell Construction Stadium. Having fallen behind early on, it looked all too certain that the Ravens would slip to their first defeat of the season so far. However, nothing of the sort was on Reeco Hackett-Fairchild’s mind, as with just seconds of injury time remaining, he was slipped in on goal and made no mistake, levelling the scores and sending the Bromley fans behind the goal into raptures. You can listen to the thoughts of Neil Smith after the game here.

Next up would be the visit of one of the National League’s ‘big boys’, Chesterfield. The sides had played out an entertaining 3-3 draw at Hayes Lane towards the end of the previous season, and with both sides making useful additions to their teams in the off season, it was sure to be another interesting affair. And that it was, for many reasons. Michael Cheek had really settled into life as a Bromley player, and it showed as he flicked his new side into the lead in the first half in front of the Glyn Beverly Stand. However, one of the Spireites’ new additions, Liam Mandeville, equalised midway through the second half with an incredible strike, which left Bromley frustrated. That frustration would briefly turn into elation little more than a minute later, as Cheek headed home his second in an immediate response which sealed a 2-1 victory, yet, suffered a nasty head injury in the process, and had to be taken off. Relive that clash with our highlights and Inside the Club videos.

Next up was a trip to the Silverlake Stadium to take on Eastleigh, a rivalry which stems from the two sides battling it out for the Conference South title back in the 2013/14 season, but another ground where Bromley had found results hard to come by. That looked to have changed, as a Luke Coulson lob had Bromley ahead against his former side, but an equaliser five minutes from time ensured the sides shared the points. Click here for highlights from the game.

Bromley would then welcome former longest serving Football League Club Notts County to Hayes Lane on a scorching hot Saturday afternoon, with over 3100 in attendance. The Ravens made a blistering start to proceedings, with loanee Alfie Doughty giving them the lead, before a Kyle Wootton equaliser had the sides level at the break. There was time for more drama in the second half though, as a stunning strike from substitute and debutant Shawn McCoulsky handed Bromley the three points. Highlights available here, as is an episode of ‘Inside the Club’ which can be accessed here.

There were two games left to come that month, both against sides in fine form. The first of those was Woking, who arrived in BR2 for what punters would have seen as an unlikely top of the table clash had you asked them at the start of the season. A sole Michael Cheek goal not long before half time cemented Bromley’s place at the top of the table, giving them confidence with a daunting trip to Yeovil Town coming up.

The Ravens made the trip to Huish Park four days later, knowing little about the bizarre events which would unfold that day. A first minute injury to goalkeeper Mark Cousins, which saw him down and receiving treatment for 20 minutes, was made worse by the fact that Bromley had no backup goalkeeper on the bench. Chris Bush donned the gloves, as Bromley went into a shock lead through Cheek. Deep into 20 additional minutes at the end of the first half, the hosts equalised. Two further goals, including an own goal in the second half, sent a shellshocked Bromley to their first defeat of the season, and more worryingly, without their Number 1 for what would appear to be a long time.

Off the pitch, September also saw Glemnet, the Club’s longest serving sponsors, renew their support of the Ravens. The Beckenham based Cloud communications company have been involved with the Club in various capacities since 2003. Read more by clicking here.