Bromley 2-4 Sutton United - We're not out of the race for promotion, says Mark Goldberg
BROMLEY 2-4 SUTTON UNITED
Tuesday 4th March 2014
Stephen McCartney reports from Hayes Lane
BROMLEY manager Mark Goldberg says he must bring in defensive reinforcements after handing Eastleigh a way back in the Skrill South title race.
Full-timers Eastleigh have closed the gap from eleven points to five (with two games in hand) after Sutton Untied completed the double over league leaders Bromley.
The Spitfires kept the pressure on after gaining a point in a 1-1 draw at Eastbourne Borough and Bromley lost to their bitter-rivals Sutton United, their sixth league defeat of the season.
Third-placed Sutton United arrived at Hayes Lane with 50 points from 28 games – thirteen points adrift of The Ravens – but Paul Doswell’s side extended their unbeaten run to eight after inflicting Bromley’s second home league defeat of the season.
Bromley started the game with a makeshift defensive partnership with central midfielder Danny Waldren moving back to partner Taylor Parmenter.
Jack Holland, 22, was in Jordan to make his England C debut in a 1-0 win - and Rob Swaine, 26, was ruled out through an ankle injury.
Sutton United opened the scoring when Jamie Slabber netted his fourteenth goal of the season when he was given acres of space inside the Bromley penalty area, before two goals from Frenchman Pierre Joseph-Dubois put the home side back in the driving seat.
However, the turning point came in the final fifteen minutes when Parmenter was forced off with suspected cracked ribs and Bromley capitulated as a result.
Dean Sinclair came off the bench to score twice and Craig Dundas rifled a shot into the top corner as Bromley conceded three goals in a devastating final eight minutes.
“We’re obviously disappointed that we’ve caved in, in the last fifteen minutes but I thought we did really well for a spell, a good spell in the second half and deserved to be 2-1 up,” said Goldberg afterwards.
“Unfortunately we just didn’t have the strength-in-depth tonight. The injuries all came in the same place (in the heart of our defence). Our spine has been strong all season and we went into the game today with no centre half pairing who have previously played together and I thought because of that we done really well up until the 80th minute.
“Unfortunately when Taylor (Parmenter) went off injured we were forced to make another change there and it was difficult enough losing Danny (Waldren) in the centre of midfield, who normally plays that protective role so the combination of all of those meant that we just didn’t have the strength-in-depth to hold on.
“But their subs made a big impact and unfortunately we weren’t able to make the substitutions that we maybe might have liked to have made.”
Holland was the only Conference South player to be selected to play in tonight’s England C international against Jordan but Goldberg revealed some depressing news on the former Crystal Palace defender.
“We’ve just heard that Jack Holland has tweaked his back playing today for the England C side so it looks like he’s going to be out for a while,” revealed Goldberg.
“Rob Swaine’s got an ankle injury that I think it’s fair to say that will put him out for about two and a half to three weeks.
“Taylor’s got suspected cracked ribs so it looks like he’ll be out for a few weeks and I think we also do miss Danny (Waldren) in the centre of midfield so I think we’re going to have to bring in some reinforcements if we can.”
When asked the level of player that the Bromley boss must bring in ahead of Saturday’s trip to Chelmsford City, he replied: “I don’t know. I’ll probably be looking at loan players from the Football League just for this period.”
Bromley created their first opening inside the opening six minutes when Elliott Buchanan (who slotted in the middle of the park) sent a 30-yard effort sailing over the bar.
Dean Pooley then whipped in a low cross into the Sutton United penalty area and the ball deflected in to Jay May’s path and the target-man screwed his shot wide of the near post from eight-yards.
Sutton United’s first chance arrived in the 13th minute when right-back Simon Downer clipped the ball down the line for Jamie Taylor to bring a comfortable low save from Bromley keeper Joe Welch at his near post.
Bromley created another opening when Joseph-Dubois made progress down the right to whip in a teasing ball across the face of the penalty area and Albert Jarrett turned his man to sweep his shot across goalkeeper Jason Brown and past the far post.
But Sutton United took the lead in the 20th minute when Bromley’s defensive frailties came to light.
Damian Scannell whipped in a corner from the right and the ball came out to Dundas on the edge of the box and the former Croydon midfielder clipped the ball to the unmarked Slabber to volley his right-footed shot past the stranded Welch.
Goldberg said: “I have to see it again. We kept him onside somehow. We cleared our lines and we should have stepped up and it came straight back. In normal circumstances he would have been offside so I need to have a look at that so that was a mistake to let him in.”
Bromley responded when Buchanan clipped the ball through to Ali Fuseini, who was denied a goal against his former club when he poked his shot straight at Brown, who made the save at his near post.
Sutton United broke through with Kane Haysman before he teed up a chance for Lee Sawyer, who swept his left-footed shot harmlessly wide of the right-hand post.
The Surrey side used the counter-attack method well when Jamie Taylor’s pace took him past Bromley right-back Pooley before he cut in from the left flank to find the unmarked Slabber who hooked his right-footed shot wide from 12-yards.
Welch kept Bromley in the game with three saves as Sutton United turned the screw.
Scannell swept the ball inside to release Taylor into the left-hand corner of the penalty area and Welch came off his line to smother the ball at the striker’s feet at the edge of his area.
Taylor then played the ball inside to Haysman, who unleashed a right-footed curling drive from 30-yards, which forced Welch dived to his left to tip the ball around the post.
And Sawyer cut a free-kick from the left channel back to Scannel, who cracked a first time drive from 25-yards, which produced a brilliant save from the diving Welch, who pushed the ball over his bar with a strong right hand.
Goldberg added: “They caused us a few problems but Joe did his job.”
Dominant Sutton United also went close when Sawyer played the ball to Scannell, whose right-footed drive from 35-yards deflected narrowly wide of the far post.
Bromley were riding their luck, but they grabbed an equaliser three minutes before half-time.
Fuseini played a defence splitting pass through the heart of the Sutton United defence for Joseph-Dubois to shrug off his marker to stroke a right-footed shot past Brown from 12-yards.
“I think it’s fair to say that we deserved the goal when it came right at the end of the first half,” said Goldberg.
“I thought we were pressing in the last 5-10 minutes and deserved the goal.
“It was a very good finish. He held the defender off and put it in nicely so we were pleased with that.”
Bromley doubled their lead with the first action of the second half when Joseph-Dubois, 26, scored his sixteenth-goal of the season in the 55th minute.
Jarrett swung in a corner from the left and Buchanan poked the ball through a crowd of players and Joseph-Dubois finished emphatically into the bottom left-hand corner from ten-yards.
Goldberg said: “We deserved to be 2-1 up. He’s doing what he did last year as well, yes he’s doing great.”
Two smart saved from former Gillingham goalkeeper Brown, 31, frustrated Bromley’s leading goalscorer Bradley Goldberg.
A diagonal pass from Fuseini released Goldberg through on goal on the hour-mark, but his right-footed angled drive forced Brown to dive to his left to push the shot around the post.
Jarrett swung in the resulting corner from the right and May nodded down and just wide of the left-hand post from inside the six-yard box.
Fuseini played Goldberg in on goal again and yet again Brown got down low at his near post to deny Goldberg scoring with another right-footed angled drive.
Boss Goldberg said: “We had a few more chances. We didn’t seem to follow up a couple of shots from Brad that the keeper parried and we weren’t quite in there.
“Another day Brad will bury them but at least the keeper had to pull off saves.”
Scannell held his head in his hands in embarrassment when he ballooned his right-footed free-kick high over the Bromley crossbar from 28-yards in the final twenty minutes.
But things started to go downhill for Bromley when third-choice central defender Parmenter was forced off through injury just five minutes later.
Boss Goldberg was forced to shuffle the pack and brought on right-winger Brendan Kiernan, so Joseph-Dubois slotted in at right-back, Pooley moved inside to partner Waldren in the heart of defence, leaving Joe Anderson in his natural position of left-back.
Bromley were always going to struggle with that defensive line-up and it was no surprise when Sutton United equalised with eight minutes remaining.
Sinclair was only on the pitch for six minutes before producing a real quality finish from the corner of the penalty area.
He was given time and space to whip in a stunning right-footed shot, which curled up and over the diving Welch to drop into the far corner.
Goldberg said: “Just before they scored, if Ali (Fuseini) had slipped Brad in over the top he would have been free but a couple of misplaced passes and they’re in instead of us being in and that’s football.
“Again, we gave the ball away and it lead to them to break on us and they broke and it was a beautiful goal. He curled it the only place he could have put it so it’s not a lot we can do to argue about that!”
The equaliser had Bromley fans looking frantically for the latest score between Eastbourne Borough and Eastleigh.
Goldberg said: “We didn’t know what was going on anywhere else but I still fancied we still could have even got 3-2. It was one of those games that could have gone both ways.
“People only remember the last eight minutes I’m afraid. That’s what happens and that’s football.”
Before Sinclair’s goal, the Bromley faithful were chanting “We are going up” songs, but they were soon to be silenced after their side capitulated.
Fuseini’s long-range drive was parried by Brown, before Scannell whipped in a corner towards the far post where Louis John headed down and narrowly wide of the near post at the other end of the pitch.
With less than five minutes remaining, Buchanan flashed his left-footed drive narrowly past the foot of the right-hand post, before Sutton United scored twice inside injury-time.
Fuseini marred an otherwise impressive performance when he gifted Sutton United the ball in midfield and they broke away and Scannell found Dundas unmarked inside the box and he rifled his right-footed shot into the top right-hand corner with 45:35 on the clock.
Goldberg said: “They hit us on the break three times, didn’t they and punished us. Great finishes – there’s not a lot we can do about them!”
And Bromley leaked a fourth goal with 48:04 on the clock when Anderson gave the ball away and Sinclair drilled his low left-footed shot into the bottom near corner to the delight of the travelling fans, which sent some home fans heading towards the exit.
Goldberg added: “Once we were 3-2 down we were going for it and that’s what happens when you don’t clear your lines – sometimes you concede.
“We knew we weren’t at full strength tonight and we know we weren’t at full strength when we played Sutton before and they capitalised on it.
“We nearly got away with it after 80 minutes but now we have to make sure we bring in reinforcements.”
Bromley have thirteen league games remaining, starting with a trip to fifteenth-placed Chelmsford City on Saturday.
The Ravens humiliated the Essex side 5-0 at Hayes Lane back in November.
Goldberg said: “It’s been a fantastic season so far. It wasn’t to be our day today but we’re not out of the race for promotion – we never really talked about promotion anyway.
“The fact that we’ve still thirteen games to go that we’re still in with a shout of being promoted then I think we should take positives from that.
“I’m not here personally on Saturday, it’s my dad’s 80th birthday, so I’m away for the weekend but I’ll make sure that I’ll do the responsible thing and make sure we’re well prepared.”
Eastleigh are not giving up on their title winning aspirations but Goldberg continues to play down the hype surrounding his team.
“We’re not really talking about Eastleigh anyway,” said the Bromley boss.
“The fact that we’re in with a shout of promotion is something to build on now and with thirteen games to go we’ll look at ourselves to what we need to be in the play-offs now.
“The fact that we can even see the play-offs in sight is a fantastic position to be in. If we do even better than that it would be a great achievement so right at this moment in time we never said anything about promotion.
“We never said anything about Eastleigh. We’ve just talked about the fact that we want to finish higher than we’ve ever finished and the fact that we’re looking at the potential of play-offs is a wonderful thing.”
Goldberg added: “The fact that we’re competing with Eastleigh is remarkable.”
Goldberg will be on his phone in the next few days ahead of their trip to Chelmsford.
“They’re a different side now, a different management team,” said Goldberg.
“We’ve got to pick ourselves up. I’ve got to bring in some reinforcements and we’ve got to try to get back to basics and grind out a win.
“Listen, there’s lots of exciting games coming up. As long as I get reinforcements, we’ll be fine.”
Bromley: Joe Welch, Dean Pooley, Joe Anderson, Ali Fuseini, Danny Waldren, Taylor Parmenter (Brendan Kiernan 75), Pierre Joseph-Dubois, Elliott Buchanan, Jay May (Nic McDonnell 86), Bradley Goldberg, Albert Jarrett (Louis Dennis 90).
Subs: Rob Swaine, Ashley Nicholls
Goals: Pierre Joseph-Dubois 42, 55
Booked: Dean Pooley 65
Sutton United: Jason Brown, Louis John, Dale Binns, Kane Haysman (Gavin McCallum 69), Simon Downer, Charlie Clough, Damian Scannell, Craig Dundas, Jamie Slabber (Dammy Shitta 90), Jamie Taylor (Dean Sinclair 76), Lee Sawyer.
Sub: Tom Lovelock
Goals: Jamie Slabber 20, Dean Sinclair 82, 90, Craig Dundas 90
Booked: Dale Binns 89
Referee: Mr Ryan Atkin (Sydenham Hill, London SE26)
Assistants: Mr David Smart (Maidstone) & Mr Paul Yates (Maidstone)