Thursday 01st September 2005
Butler's ice cool as Bromley warm-up
Bromley 0-0 Grays Athletic
Report by Stephen McCartney
Ryman League Premier Division professional outfit Grays Athletic, and the red hot temperatures at Hayes Lane gave Bromley a demanding physical work-out in their final home pre-season warm up on Saturday.
Bromley got out of the blocks swiftly and almost took a second minute lead.  Steve Potterill delivered a corner to the far post and Adolph Amoako rose to glance a header narrowly wide of the right upright.
Three minutes later, Grays' Ram Marwa fired high and wide of Bromley's woodwork, striking a fierce shot from outside the penalty area.  Tony Lock, then struck a low shot and Bromley shot-stopper, Danny Harwood made a comfortable save.
When Bromley get the ball on the deck and play attractive academy football, there can't be a side who can stop them, and a goal almost came this way after eleven minutes.
Amoako's was crowded out by the Grays defenders on the edge of the penalty area, but he used his trickery to carve a low pass for his strike partner, Tony Reid.  Awareness from goalkeeper Mel Capleton,  blocked the shot as the Hayes Lane faithful anticipated a goal.
Bromley goalkeeper, Danny Harwood, with 206 appearances to his name, made a flying save to his left, and grasped the ball, to keep out Marwa's delightful long range left-footed goal bound shot after twenty minutes.
Marwa's second opportunity, however, from 35 yards crashed against the empty rows of seats behind Harwood's goal.
Sensible refereeing from Ian Crouch after 23 minutes, when he halted the game for a few moments as both sets of players could take in some water.  Bromley's Bobby George dragged his shot wide of the left post shortly after the refreshment break.
Wayne Vaughan was left completely unmarked inside the Ravens penalty area, but he should have punished the slack defending, glancing his header against the right upright.
Fine skills from Kirk Watts set up a chance for Amoako but Capleton came off his line to smother the ball before Amoako could unleash a shot on goal.
Bromley made nine changes to their line-up at the interval and after six minutes Harwood was replaced by Rob O'Hara.
A breach in concentration almost gave Grays the lead moments later but Danny Hazelden dragged his shot wide of the right post, when unmarked and after O'Hara had committed himself to a cross.
The same player ran at the Bromley back-line but shaded the left post with a low shot on goal.
O'Hara, who was playing British Energy Kent County League football for Bromleians Sports last season, made several fine saves to thwart the professional side.
O'Hara saved Forde's low drive before seeing George Snea, who was unmarked inside the penalty area, drive his low shot wide when well placed.
Snea dropped a lob across the face of goal, allowing John Butler to clear the danger, after lifting the ball over O'Hara's giant frame.
Eighteen year old college student, John Butler was Bromley's shining light with a solid second half performance at the heart of Bromley's defence.
The level-headed defender, who spent five years at Charlton Athletic, and played three times for England at Ice Hockey was as cool as ice in the Hayes Lane heat.
And after making only four starts for Bromley last season, his performance today should open the door for more first team action as Bromley bid for a red-hot campaign.
As Grays got a threshold on the game, O'Hara made two fine saves from Martin Carthy and Forde..
As the heat took its toll on Bromley's attacking play, O'Hara kept the score-line blank inside injury time using his legs to deny Forde a match winning strike.
Bromley travel to Romford as they defend their Wembley Cup on Tuesday (7.45pm) before they embark on their Ryman League Division One South campaign, at Croydon next Saturday, 16 August (3pm).  Lewes are the first visitors to Hayes Lane for a Ryman League fixture on Tuesday 19 August (7.45pm)
Bromley: (First half):
Danny Harwood, Steve Potterill, Michael Harney, Tommy Ellis, Colin Luckett, Dean Forbes, Bobby George, Joe Wade, Tony Reid, Adolph Amoako, Kirk Watts
Bromley: (Second half):
Danny Harwood (Rob O'Hara 51), Dean Frost, Kwabena Amaning, Danny Smith, John Butler, Dean Forbes, Michael Azzopardi, Jason McKoy, David Smith, James Goodwin (Tony Reid), Bobby Nolan
Grays Athletic (sqaud):
Mel Capleton, Dean Bradshaw, Danny Kerrigan, Steve Robinson, Ade Olayinka, Stuart Thurgood, Ram Marwa, Martin Carthy, Fabion Forde, Wayne Vaughan, Tony Lock.  Subs: Danny Hazelden, Tobi Oshitola, George Snea, Mark Stimson
Referee: Ian Crouch
Assistants:  Phil Townley and Steve Daly