Bromley 4-0 Havant & Waterlooville - There’s a long, long way to go but we want to try to get as many points on the board as early as we can because we know it’s going to be difficult, says Bromley boss Neil Smith

Monday 27th August 2018
Bromley 4 – 0 Havant & Waterlooville
Location Hayes Lane, Bromley, Kent BR2 9EF
Kickoff 27/08/2018 15:00

Vanarama National League
Bank Holiday Monday 27 August 2018
Stephen McCartney reports from Hayes Lane

BROMLEY manager Neil Smith says he wants his side to kick on now after thrashing Havant & Waterlooville at Hayes Lane.

The Ravens climbed up to fourteenth-place in the Vanarama National League table on nine points from seven games while Lee Bradbury’s newly-promoted side dropped into the bottom four on six points.

Bromley defeated then second-placed side Gateshead 1-0 in their last home game before fighting back from being 2-0 down to leaders Wrexham on Saturday, before grabbing a point, courtesy of Frankie Sutherland’s penalty and a headed own-goal from Luke Summerfield at the death in Wales.

Bromley striker Omar Bugiel headed in two superb free-kick deliveries to put Smith’s men in the driving seat, the 24-year-old’s first goals of the new season.

Bromley rattled in two second-half goals from Junior Ogedi-Uzoke (who is on loan from Colchester United) in the second half to cap off a good nine days for the Ravens.

“The last few games we just haven’t had that luck or that bit of run of play so for us to get the four, I think we’ve deserved it,” said Smith.

“I think the Harrogate game (a 1-1 home draw) was a marker that we can create. We beat Gateshead and went to Wrexham and we’re hoping this can start a run but the boys were amazing today.”

Wrexham lost top-spot to FC Halifax Town after losing 1-0 at Solihull Moors and it was important that Bromley played well at home and got the win to make it a great weekend to reach the magical 52 point safety target as quickly as possible.

“It shows character that, I know we’ve got in abundance, we did it against Dover so I know I’ve got that,” said Smith on his side’s Wrexham fightback.

“I just wanted us to score, I want Omar to score.  I think Omar’s work-ethic has been amazing and he just needed that little cherry on top so to get two today is brilliant and obviously Junior.”

Bromley were kicking down the car park end for the first half and they produced some great football on the deck during the course of the game.

Frankie Raymond was pulling the strings in his deep holding position and Bromley took the lead with their first attempt, timed at seven minutes and 59 seconds on the clock.

Smith highlighted the work put in by coach Mark Hammond on the training ground for the way that the Ravens scored two of their four free-kicks in the first half.

Bugiel was fouled from behind by Hawks’ holding midfielder Michael Carter some 30-yards from goal out on the left.

Raymond signalled, John Goddard swept in a subline delivery with his right-foot into the corridor of uncertainty and Bugiel showed desire to make a run into the near post to bury his header past Ryan Young from 10-yards.

“Listen, with the players’ I’ve got in this team, your Frankie Sutherland’s, your Frankie Raymond’s, Johnny Goddard now, they put the ball on a six-pence and it’s then down to the players’ to show desire and get across,” said Smith.

“Omar had an effort on Saturday that just went wide. It just shows you keep getting in the box, sometimes it pays off, great start.

“I want to give something back to the supporters who have been absolutely brilliant so far and to get off to that start, it calmed a few nerves as well.”

Havant & Waterlooville have drawn half of their six league games this season and they created a couple of chances within the space of 87 seconds.

Striker Alfie Pavey dropped deep to play a diagonal pass along the deck to Rory Williams, the left-wing-back cut inside Bromley right-back Marc-Anthony Okoye to stroke his shot past the diving keeper and the foot of the near post from 22-yards.

Wesley Fogden then cut in onto his right-foot and floated over a deep cross which Pavey flicked his shot past the near post but the former Bromley (on loan) and Dartford striker had a very quiet game.

A clearance from Bromley keeper David Gregory went to Carter, who fed Andreas Robinson, who played a diagonal pass into Pavey’s feet but his right-footed half-volley from 22-yards was comfortably saved.

Havant & Waterlooville went close following their first of six corners in the 21st minute.

Andreas Robinson floated delivery from the right sailed a long way and was met by Dan Strugnell’s head from the edge of the box, which sailed over the top of the near post.

Williams played the ball inside to Fogden, who hit a speculative right-footed drive from 35-yards, which bounced into Gregory’s gloves for a comfortable save.

Solid Bromley defender Jake Goodman broke up a Havant & Waterlooville attack and hooked the ball down the line.  Bugiel held the ball up from within the left-channel before cutting the ball back for winger Goddard to sweep his curler harmlessly past the top of the far post from 25-yards.

Bradbury’s side almost snatched an equaliser on the half-hour mark when Andreas Robinson floated in a corner, which bounced off Roger Johnson and forced Gregory to get down low to his left to hold.

“I think it would’ve been a little bit disappointing if we had let a goal in just before half-time,” added Smith.

Goodard shrugged past Carter, who tried to pull him back by pulling his shirt and his pass released Bugiel charging down the right, before he was brought down by a bookable challenge from Paul Robinson.

It proved to be costly as Bromley doubled their lead with 32 minutes and 23 seconds on the clock from the resulting free-kick.

Raymond and Goddard stood by the ball, this time it was Goodard’s time to signal and Raymond to whip in a high-quality delivery from the right by putting it on a plate for Bugiel to bury his header at the far post into the near corner from three-yards out.

“Listen, Omar’s a very good player, he just needs to believe in himself.  The more you get in the box, the more chances you get. I’m hoping this is the start of a run for him,” said Smith.

“I think he’s done brilliant. Unfortunately he’s always going to get judged on goals but I think his actual team play and work-ethic for the boys has been amazing!”

Raymond swept a 60-yard diagonal cross, which sailed over the head of Havant & Waterlooville centre-half Jordan Rose on the corner of the box and Ogedi-Uzokwe’s cross was cleared and Goddard hit a first time shot just over the crossbar from a central position on the edge of the box.

Smith said:  “Johnny has been a great acquisition for us. He’s very good on the ball. He links the midfield and the forwards and like everybody else you just hope they can top their game off with a goal.

“His influence when we have the ball and where he is has been really good since he’s come in.”

Bromley’s carpet football on their 3G carpet was a joy to watch today.

“That’s how we want to play! I thought we knocked it around really well today, I think we’ve done it for the last few games. We just needed that end product.

“I think we missed that little bit of link-up play. If you want to say we’ve been missing Louis Dennis (now at Portsmouth) a little bit I think we have but Johnny’s come in and shown if we’ve got someone who wants to come into those little pockets of space and holes and this is what I can do with it, so I think he’s been a great signing for us so far.”

Bromley’s third free-kick, which was swung in by Raymond was dealt with at the near post by Nicke Kabamba and the Hawks cleared their lines, but Bromley almost scored a third goal with their fourth expert delivery.

George Porter was pushed by left-wing-back Williams and Goddard moved away from the ball to let Raymond swing in another great free-kick from the right and the ball bounced off Strugnell at the near post and bounced against the foot of the near post.

Smith said: “Again, you put the ball in the right area, you make a couple of darting runs and because it’s so close into the goal any deflection might take it in.  I don’t think we would’ve been lucky had we gone three-nil up.”

With his side holding a two-goal advantage at the break, Smith said: “My thoughts are be disciplined! We haven’t have to go chasing the game now.  A clean-sheet wins us the points and that’s what we’ve needed a few more times this season so far. 

“I know everyone wanted us to get a bundle of goals but football’s not like that. If they get one, all off a sudden you’re under pressure, like we did with Wrexham on Saturday, so it was making sure we weren’t getting caught up in that.”

Bromley were sloppy during the opening 10 minutes of the first half as fouls from Roger Johnson, Okoye and Raymond gave the Hawks three free-kicks but these didn’t trouble Gregory in the Ravens’ goal.

Substitute Brian Stock took the Hawks’ free-kicks and their best chance came in the 52nd minute when his deep kick was met by Strugnell’s header, but the angle was too tight to get his effort on target.

Smith said: “It’s one of them, you go out and the next goal is vital for us especially, but we didn’t have to go chasing it. If they’re going to come onto us they might just leave a little gap and you’ve just got to exploit it, which we did.”

Bromley just couldn’t break out.  Goodman, who formed a great partnership beside Roger Johnson, almost scored with a clearance which sailed over Young’s head and dropped past the left-hand post from 65-yards.

But Bromley were clinical in front of goal when their chances came their way, adding a third with 12 minutes and 41 seconds on the clock, to kill the game off.

Roger Johnson clipped a free-kick out from the defensive third, Bugiel flicked the ball on and the ball was cleared.  Bugiel picked up the second ball, showed desire to maintain possession before setting up Ogedi-Uzokwe, who turned and swept his right-footed shot into the top left-hand corner from 25-yards.

“Junior’s come in and he’s got a great shot on him, a great strike, great work-ethic,” praised Smith, who put the winger behind the front two later on in the game.

“He started out wide on the left and then came into the centre a little bit later on. We know he can shoot and sometimes he doesn’t. We just hope he gets that little bit of confidence now where he can go on a run as well.”

Havant & Waterlooville kept plugging away during the final 20 minutes and Rose’s deep cross was met by Kabamba, who lashed his left-footed drive over the crossbar from 18-yards as Raymond slid in.

“They’re not going to give up,” said Smith.  “I think they’ve let 12 goals in but they’ve scored nine.  They’re a very attack minded team. We understand that so we knew they were going to have their time. We just had to make sure we were disciplined as a group of 11, rather than a back four.”

Clinical Bromley curled in their fourth goal of the game with 26 minutes and 56 seconds on the clock.

Goodman broke up an attack inside his own half with a fine tackle and started a sweeping move.  Bugiel drove straight down the middle of the pitch with the ball and fed Goddard, who put the ball on a plate for Ogedi-Uzokwe, who took a touch before curling his right-footed shot across the keeper and in off the far post for a beautiful goal.

“Junior’s first touch inside and then just curls into the far post.  As I’ve said, Junior shoots more often than not, he hits the target. If you hit the target you’ve got a chance.

“I’m pleased for them, I’m please for all my forwards today because George (Porter) was unlucky, all he needed was a gaol to top his little game off as well.

“I think I showed intent there today.  I played all of my forwards because I wanted to win after Saturday.  Saturday is only a great result if you get a win at home and for us to win like we did – emphatically - I think it’s full credit to the boys.”

No one minded England reaching the World Cup Semi-Finals in the summer through many set-piece goals and Bromley should have scored a fifth goal in the 76th minute.

Raymond chipped in a free-kick from the by-line on the right towards the far post and Goodman came up from the back to rise to plant his header wide from six-yards.

Stock floated in a free-kick, which was headed away by Okoye from inside the Bromley box and Fogden picked the ball up on the left and played the ball into substitute Theo Lewis, who cut inside and stroked a right-footed shot from 25-yards, which Gregory dived to his right to push towards safety.

“I don’t think they really worried us,” said Smith.

“All we wanted to do was keep a clean-sheet and get that goal-difference into a plus and as high as we can because we know how important they are, they’re like points.

“Gregaz deserves it. I don’t think he’s done anything wrong. He came out for a couple of great free-kicks early on and corners and I don’t think the back four deserved to have a goal against them.”

Smith wasn’t concerned with Okoye, who hobbled off through injury towards the end of the game.  Kyle De Silva, Jack Holland and Adam Mekki all had a light training session before the game and the Bromley manager gave an update on his injured men during the post-match press conference.

“Marc-Anthony Okoye took a whack. He could’ve played on but I wasn’t going to take a chance and I didn’t need to. We’ve got a massive game coming up on Saturday at Maidenhead so there was no point seeing players stay on.

“Frankie Sutherland is probably back on Saturday. He just took a whack on his knee (at Wrexham) so I didn’t have to chance him.  I’ve got Jordan Higgs, who I thought was immense today.

“Jack Holland (hamstring), he’s probably 10 days away. I’m hoping we’ll get Kyle De Silva and Adam Mekki training with us sometime next week so hopefully soon, very soon. Soon I’ll be getting headaches and I can’t wait!”

Gregory made a comfortable low save to his right as Kabamba stroked a deflected angled drive from outside the box, towards the bottom near corner inside the final minutes as Gregory maintained his second clean sheet of the season.

A sliced clearance from left-back Sam Wood, who was making his second home debut following his career in the Football League and a season at Eastleigh, saw Williams get in behind towards the by-line to put in a great low cross, which Goodman slid in to put over his own crossbar at the near post.

Smith is keen to extend their unbeaten record at Hayes Lane this season.

He said:  “So far, touch wood, that’s how we want to do it. I think last year we had a great away record and maybe let our home record down a little bit but that’s what we want to do. We want to build on home wins and points and stuff like that and then you nick a win or a draw away from home.”

Smith believes Bromley are now clicking into gear and will begin their rise up the National League table.

“Yes, I think so.  I was just saying earlier to the boys. We’ve not bedded in now. I’ve still got Mekki to come back. We’ve still got Kyle De Silva to come back. We’ve got Frankie Sutherland not involved so I think the squad’s getting stronger.  I think we’re getting a bit more confident in ourselves and don’t believe me when I say it, we haven’t done hardly anything yet, there’s still more work to be done but I think the boys are starting to believe in themselves.

“There’s a long, long way to go but we want to try to get as many points on the board as early as we can because we know it’s going to be difficult.”

Bromley travel to Maidenhead United on Saturday, fresh from their 5-2 thrashing at York Road on the final day of the last league season, before hosting relegated Barnet at Hayes Lane on Tuesday 4 September.

Maidenhead United sit in eighteenth-place in the table on seven points from as many games after their 2-0 win at second-from-bottom Braintree Town today, while Barnet are in seventeenth-place on eight points after beating Dagenham & Redbridge 2-1 at home.

“It’s going to be a tough game. They’re very direct, they’re in your face.  They don’t give up. We know that from the end of last season when they had nothing to play for and Alan Devonshire has an organised side but you just hope we’re going in there with a bit of confidence and try to get something from it.

“Again Barnet, who would’ve thought that? Again, I’m really excited with all the games coming up! They’re thick and fast, they’re very tough but if we can stay injury free and get some of the boys back that I’ve just spoken about, all off a sudden there’s competition for places and hopefully we kick-on.”

Bromley: David Gregory, Marc-Anthony Okoye (Tobi Adebayo-Rowling 84), Sam Wood, Frankie Raymond, Roger Johnson (Dan Johnson 75), Jake Goodman, Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe, Jordan Higgs, Omar Bugiel, George Porter, John Goddard (Bobby-Joe Taylor 79).
Subs: Max Huxter, Reece Meekums

Goals: Omar Bugiel 8, 33, Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe 58, 72

Booked: Roger Johnson 64, David Gregory 90

Havant & Waterlooville: Ryan Young, Dan Strugnell (Aaron Cosgrove 66), Rory Williams, Paul Robinson, Ryan Woodford, Jordan Rose, Wesley Fogden, Michael Carter (Theo Lewis 57), Alfie Pavey, Nicke Kabamba, Andreas Robinson (Brian Stock 34).
Subs: Josh Huggins, Alfie Rutherford

Booked: Paul Robinson 32, Michael Carter 41, Theo Lewis 61, Rory Williams 90

Attendance: 1,413 (121 away)
Referee:  Mr Josh Smith (Bourne, Lincolnshire)
Assistants: Mr Jonathan Block (Norwich, Norfolk) & Mr Robin Cox (Banbury, Oxfordshire)
Fourth Official: Mr Alexander Emery (Oxford, Oxfordshire)