Thursday 01st September 2005

Predators strike as Bromley are in seventh heaven

Bromley 2-1 Staines Town
Tuesday 4 November 2003
Ryman League Division One South
by Stephen McCartney

Paul Kember warned his Bromley colleagues about Craig Maskell, but the prolific experienced striker levelled proceedings eight minutes from time to give ten-man, third placed Staines Town hope of gaining a point.

Kember, who alongside John Myatt and Derek Parnham, are the backroom staff behind caretaker manager Eddie Saunders at Hayes Lane, said: "Staines Town are a good side and they aren't in third place for nothing.  They have some good individual players and Craig Maskell was one we said could cause us problems.  Unfortunately, he did, with a very good strike."

Staines, famous for giving the world Ali G, were denied a goal after 12 minutes for a push on Bromley goalkeeper Danny Harwood, and  went close minutes later when Matt Flitter's header went wide and Maskell, who beat Dean Forbes outside
the penalty area, narrowly shot wide of the far upright.

Crisp Bromley passing gave Jason McKoy a chance after 19 minutes but his shot from outside the penalty area bounced once before going wide of the left upright.

Bromley's strong central defender, Joe Vines was denied by a clearance on the goal-line following Mark Hammond's flag kick.

Long-serving Staines defender, Steve Battams struck a 30 yard shot that drifted high over Harwood's crossbar before Eddie Saunders' side took a 34th minute lead.

Hammond's trickery down the right flank caused Staines' defence problems and his pinpoint cross was met by Adolph Amoako who flashed a shot past goalkeeper Matt Lovett from six yards.

Jon McDonald was laid out by Forbes' strong challenge outside the penalty area, which enraged the Staines players.  After the player received treatment, the Assistant Referee on the far side of the ground waved for the Referee's attention.

After a brief conversation, Referee Mr J Beadle, called Mark Pye over and flashed him a straight red card, and the Staines player was sent off for swearing at the match officials.

Reduced to ten men, with fifty minutes of the match to go, Staines restricted Hammond to a shot outside the area, but Lovett got his whole body behind the drilled low shot as the ball zipped of the wet Hayes Lane surface.

As ever in football, the team with eleven players found it difficult to find space on the pitch, and Staines made Bromley work hard for the three vital points at stake.

Amoako had a superb chance to bury Staines six minutes after the break as he lifted the ball over Lovett, the ball fell agonisingly wide of the foot of the right post.

Staines much-travelled, twenty-six year old skipper, Flitter was booked by Beadle for a foul on Leroy Huggins and Town lined up a two man wall for Hammond's free kick.  The skilled winger, however, drilled his free kick, out on the left, over the crossbar.

Huggins' touch twice let him down inside the Staines penalty area in the space of three minutes allowing Lovett to make comfortable saves. 

Battams flicked header from a long range free kick was off target after 72 minutes and an offside flag denied the busy Amoako a goal three minutes later.

From twenty yards out, Amoako rolled the ball down the centre of the goal but the assistant referee raised his flag for offside.  This was one of many poor decisions made by the three match officials throughout the contest.

Steve McGrath let of Bromley when his free header was wide of the left post following Maskell's cross before Hayes Lane was stunned when ten-man Staines levelled proceedings with only eight minutes left on the clock.

Maskell was clearly offside when he received the ball down the right channel. 
But his finish from an acute angle was quality, as he shot high across goal before finding the top corner of the far post.

It was only the ninth goal Bromley have conceded in thirteen league games this season and stunned the home faithful, but this Bromley team are made of winners, and increased the tempo and urgency for the remainder of the game.

Bromley caretaker manager Eddie Saunders quickly swooped and brought on midfielder James Gardner and powerful target man Tony Reid in search of the winner.

It was Reid who peeled off to the left hand side of the penalty area with two minutes remaining.  Reid shot low across goal and Leroy Huggins, in predatory mood, seized the opportunity and poked the ball towards goal.  Despite the poor efforts of Julian Sills to keep the ball out, the ball crossed the line and referee Beadle awarded the goal.

Reid was ever so unlucky not to score himself inside injury time.  Staines' goalkeeper Lovett ran up for a corner kick inside the Bromley penalty area and almost got on the end of the ball before Harwood grasped the ball.

The home side broke quickly and Reid was forty yards from goal when his shot ballooned towards goal.  The ball bounced once inside the six yard box but agonisingly went narrowly over the crossbar.

Bromley's efforts in this tough game were rewarded with seventh place in the Ryman League Division One South table. 

They travel to Worthing on Saturday, knowing a victory against the fifth placed side will see Bromley leapfrog over the Sussex side. 

Meanwhile, Bromley's away game against Slough Town, at Windsor & Eton's Stag Meadow, St Leonards Road home, has been moved back 24 hours, and will be played next Wednesday 12 November (7.45pm).

Bromley return home on Saturday 15 November (3pm) when Metropolitan Police, who stole four points of the Ravens last season, are the visitors to the Clive Christian Stadium in Hayes Lane.

Bromley: Danny Harwood, Danny Smith, Mark Willy, Joe Vines, Michael Harney, Dean Forbes (Capt), Jason McKoy, Mark Hammond, Leroy Huggins (Bobby George 90), Adolph Amoako (Tony Reid 83), John Wilfort (James Gardner 83).  Subs: Andy Hunt, John Butler

Staines Town: Matt Lovett, Steve McGrath, Jon McDonald (Danny Rouco 68), Steve Battams, Matt Flitter (Capt), Julian Sills, Fouahde Belaid (Jake Newton 84), Mark Pye (sent off 40), Kezie Ibe, Craig Maskell, Jon Henry-Hayden (Dean Pitcher 71).  Subs: Lee Clarke, Darren Flaherty.

Attendance: 179
Referee: J Beadle
Assistants:  Mr R Smith and Mr R Woods