Bromley 0-5 Braintree Town - It's just a bad day for us, we want to put it behind us and move on, says Bromley coach Alan Dunne

Monday 27th February 2017
Bromley 0 – 5 Braintree Town
Location Hayes Lane, Bromley, Kent BR2 9EF
Kickoff 28/02/2017 19:45

Vanarama National League
Tuesday 28th February 2017
Stephen McCartney reports from Hayes Lane

BROMLEY first team coach Alan Dunne feels hard done by after suffering an embarrassing defeat with nine men on a night of shame at Hayes Lane.


Braintree Town took four minutes and 57 seconds to open the scoring through Michael Cheek’s 18th goal of the season - from the penalty spot - and Bromley’s night went downhill from that moment on during this Pancake Day massacre.

Bromley lost central midfielder Lee Minshull to a straight red card after only 16 minutes and right-back Daniel Johnson was also sent-off after 32 minutes and Jack Midson converted the resulting penalty to deservedly double seventeenth-placed Braintree Town’s lead.

Referee David Rock sent off Bromley manager Neil Smith after 37 minutes and when Reece Hall-Johnson smashed in a third goal on the stroke of half-time, the game was over as a contest and the second half was a training game for Bromley’s lowest ever National League crowd at Hayes Lane of 437.

Bromley held out until the 70th and 74th minutes when Monty Patterson and Hall-Johnson drilled in shots into the bottom corner from outside the box.

Braintree Town finished the game with 10 men when Ian Gayle picked up his second yellow card with six painful minutes left.

But Hakan Hayrettin’s side closed the gap on Bromley to four points, as the Ravens go into their final 11 league games on 45 points and needing at least a couple more wins to ensure National League football is played at Hayes Lane for a third season.

“Disappointed with the result, three sending’s off in the game. I didn’t think it was that sort of game,” admitted Dublin-born Dunne, 34.

“We’re disappointed to have one sent off so early in the game. We felt it was harsh, but I’m saying that after having two men sent-off, we showed a lot of character. It’s difficult to play with 10 let alone nine!

“In the second half we showed some real character and spirit.  The game was dead and buried once we went down to nine men. It was only a matter of keeping it tight and having a bit of pride.”

It was eleven-a-side for the opening 16 minutes and Bromley’s players must look at themselves for putting in another poor performance at home as Braintree Town, like many other teams, started the game on the front foot.

Dunne said: “They were going to come out fast against us.  I didn’t think we were troubled too much up until the sending off but we gave the goal away, which was disappointing, but no excuses, we didn’t start well.

“We want to move on from that and it’s one of those games that was disappointing all round for us.

“It’s just a bad day for us, we want to put it behind us and move on.”

Bromley are clearly missing goalkeeper Alan Julian, who joined Rob Swaine and Adam Cunnington at Billericay Town, dropping down a couple leagues to grab lucrative contracts at the Ryman Premier League club.

Billy Granger made his debut at Aldershot Town at the weekend and leaked in four goals, while Ross Flitney had a night to forget and if performances don’t improve then Smith must find a replacement goalkeeper – and quickly!

Flitney tripped Hall-Johnson inside the box and the referee pointed to the spot and Cheek stepped up to send Flitney the wrong way from the penalty spot, rifling the ball into the top right-hand corner.

“Yes, yes, it was a poor penalty. I don’t know, I didn’t really see it.  I think the boy made a meal of it. Maybe it was the right decision but after that it was uphill for us,” admitted former Millwall ace Dunne.

Jordan Higgs gave the ball away in midfield and Hall-Johnson ran through the heart of Bromley’s defence to lay the ball off to striker Midson, whose angled deflected drive flashed past the far post.

Bromley’s only shot on target arrived in the 13th minute when Minshull slipped the ball through to striker Bradley Goldberg, who hit a right-footed shot on the turn from 25-yards and visiting keeper Sam Beasant grabbed hold of the ball high to his left as Goldberg hit a dipping drive.

“Bradley worked his socks off today. We still had chances even with nine men to score,” added Dunne, who was an unused substitute.

Referee Rook showed Minshull a straight red-card when he challenged Harry Lee in midfield (despite pulling away from the tackle) and walked off the pitch shaking his head in despair as he headed off down the players’ tunnel.

“My thoughts on it, from what I’ve seen in this league for the short time I’ve been in it, I felt it was harsh,” said Dunn.

“I’ve seen a lot worse tackles.  I think he sort of pulled out of it and I think the boy read it and made a meal of it but that’s my opinion, whether or not it’s someone else’s opinion it’s different but in my opinion he made a meal of it.”

Bromley squandered a glorious chance to grab an equaliser in the 24th minute.

Joe Anderson played the ball to winger Louis Dennis, who whipped in a first time cross into the Braintree box from the left where striker Brandon Hanlan turned his man but blazed his right-footed shot over the crossbar from 12-yards.

The game turned into a farce when Johnson was shown a straight red card after bundling over Hall-Johnson eight-yards from goal.

Midson converted his 11th goal of the season, his right-footed penalty nestling into the bottom left-hand corner after 33 minutes.

“I thought the penalty was a penalty, both penalties were penalties, I felt, but again I don’t know if it’s a straight red card,” added Dunne.

“I felt both reds were harsh, they happened and we have to move on from it. We have to learn from them.”

Bromley boss Smith was told to leave the dug-out by the referee in the 37th minute, walking across the pitch to spend the rest of the game inside the home dressing room.

Flitney palmed away Hall-Johnson’s curling free-kick from the left channel, before Bromley skipper Jack Holland picked up the ball in defence ran 40-yards with the ball with the home fans willing him on before cutting the ball back to Hanlan, whose low drive was charged down and cleared.

Braintree Town killed the game off with a third three minutes and 45 seconds into injury time.

Patterson got in behind Bromley’s three-man defence (in a 3-3-2) formation and Hall-Johnson smashed a first time drive easily past poor Flitney from 12-yards.

A reluctant Dunne said: “We don’t have to go over it, they are what they are, what they are.  Credit to Braintree, they came here and got what they wanted out of it, got to get a man sent off and it looked like that was their game plan.”

Bromley had nothing but pride to play for during the second-half and worked tirelessly to keep the ball and try to get over the halfway line by running with the ball at their feet on the counter-attack.

“We just wanted to go out there and keep it narrow, keep our shape and our discipline and don’t get anything more and leave the ref and get on with it and try to show some pride out there and I think we did show that in the second half.”

Hanlan showed good feet as he danced over the halfway line with the ball and his woeful finish from 35-yards, which sailed towards the corner flag than the goal, summed up a woeful game.

Braintree Town, who have now scored 11 goals against Bromley in three games this season, continued to play four men at the back and midfielder Chez Isaac fed Sean Clohessy down the right wing and his cross deflected off Anderson and sailed over Flitney’s crossbar for a corner. Braintree Town won the corner count by seven-to-nil.

Lee’s outswinging corner from the right was cleared out to Isaac, who had time and space to loop the ball back into Flitney’s hands for a rare but comfortable save from the under-fire Bromley keeper.

Referee Rock brought embarrassment to him in the 63rd minute when he walked over towards the players’ tunnel and it appeared at first that Smith was standing in the mouth of the tunnel. He wasn’t.  Steward Brian Olley was wearing a bright orange stewards jacket and the referee asked him to move away because he was “distracting my attention,” as Braintree Town wore an all-orange strip!

Clohessy delivered a deep cross from the right which found Patterson in acres of space and his 20-yard drive was spilt by Flitney, who gathered the ball at the second attempt.

Bromley went close during this painful game when Goldberg stole the ball off Clohessy on the edge of the box and curled his low shot across keeper Beasant (who had advanced towards the edge of the box for the intended back-pass) and agonisingly around the foot of the far post from 20-yards.

“He was unlucky.  It would’ve been something for the fans’ to have a goal. It’s not to be, disappointing night for Bromley all around,” came Dunne’s reply.

“The players’ can learn a lot from the second half and take the positives from that. The work-rate that the boys showed and the shape we showed at times and we played some nice football second half, really nice football.”

The main stand were at their most vocal tonight than other games and one disgruntled fan shouted out “Ref, you’ve spoilt it for us all,” as soon as Braintree Town scored their fifth goal, as disgruntled home fans continued their escape.

Patterson stroked his right-footed shot from 20-yards across Flitney, the ball nestling into the bottom far corner with 70 minutes on the clock.

Dunne said: “I think the boys were getting tired. They were going to get chances and not much we can do. They’re going to outnumber us at times and they were going to get chances and they were poor goals to give away at times but it is what it is with that.”

And Hall-Johnson capped off his impressive night when he skipped past three players and drilled his right-footed angled drive into the bottom far corner from 20-yards, as Bromley’s players appeared to scared to attempt to tackle.

“It’s one of those nights where you have to take what you can from it and take the positives from it.  We’re disappointed with the sending’s off.

“We felt hard done by but it’s happened now. We have to move on and look forward to Saturday,” added Dunne.

Bromley substitute Connor Dymond was involved in a spat with Gayle after a tackle on Hall-Johnson right in front of the away dug-out, which resulted in Gayle pushing Dymond in the chest and Rock pulled out second yellow card and then a red to send-off Braintree’s central defender.

Dunne replied: “They lost a man. I’m not a ref. I’m not going to have judgement. I can only say what’s happened on our team. I felt the red cards were harsh sometimes.”

Braintree’s tiny fan-base were singing “We are staying up,” after captain Midson planted his header over the crossbar after meeting Clohessy’s cross from the right at the end of one of the most depressing nights in Bromley’s 125-year history.

Bromley remain in 12th place in the Vanarama National League table stuck on 45 points and have now lost four games on the bounce and have 11 league games to get the two wins that will ensure safety.

On Saturday, they travel to Boreham Wood, who are one place below them on 43 points, but with a game in hand on the Ravens.

NOTHING but a win will do!

“We’re still 12th in the league.  We’ve still got a chance to finish in the top 10 this year and that’s going to be our aim from now,” said Dunne.

“We’ve got to pick the boys up. We’ve got a few suspensions now, which is not great. Blair Turgott’s going to be missing at the weekend as well, plus the two red cards tonight so we’ve got to try to pick ourselves up, not feel sorry for ourselves and go again on Saturday.  It’s a chance for a couple of the boys to come in on Saturday and show what they can do.”

Bromley captain Holland, meanwhile, felt frustrated following the game and is willing to put things right.

The central defender said: “Coming off fresh of the pitch and having the frustration that I have, it’s hard to put words to what the game was about, very disappointed,” he said.

“Another loss. It’s not where we want to be but I think we have to park tonight away, come back in on Thursday and have a look at Saturday now and how we can go out and get that win.

“I think Braintree scoring so early on it’s always going to put a dent into our momentum and obviously getting the men sent off pretty much one after the other was hard to take and having nine men for that long is always going to cause problems.

“But I’m proud of the boys with what we’ve done with the nine-men.  I don’t think anyone can ask any more of us.

“Do you know what, with nine men you just have to put men behind the ball, which we did. I think everyone worked as hard as they could, tried to keep the ball in front of us.

“I think we had a few chances in the second half with nine men. Again, I want to say how well and the hard work and the work-rate of the players’ out there, even the subs coming on hard a job to do. It was hard work out there for us.

“I can tell you now, I haven’t played in a game like that. I don’t think anyone in that changing room has but it’s one of those games. Now it’s done. We move on. We want to finish the rest of the games off strong.”

Holland scored the equaliser that earned a 2-2 draw up at Tranmere Rovers on 11 February, but since then Bromley have suffered defeats to Solihull Moors (0-1), Dagenham & Redbridge (1-2), Aldershot Town (0-4) before tonight’s humiliation.

West Wickham based Holland said: “There is a reaction needed.  I think we have got a great bunch of lads in there.  The past couple of results have hurt us, really have hurt us and we’re looking at everything we can to really put together what we know we have. 

“We were on a great run before this string of loses and I believe we can do it again. We’re not looking over our shoulder, always look to the next game! If you look backwards you go backwards so we’re always looking to the next match and in our mind’s we’re going to win it. We’re looking up, never looking down.”

Bromley: Ross Flitney, Daniel Johnson, Joe Anderson, Jordan Higgs (Connor Dymond 46), Ben Chorley, Jack Holland, Blair Turgott, Lee Minshull, Brandon Hanlan (Tobi Sho-Silva 67), Bradley Goldberg (David Martin 76), Louis Dennis.
Subs: Alan Dunne, Billy Granger

Booked: Blair Turgott 38, Jordan Higgs 45, Connor Dymond 84

Sent Off: Lee Minshull 16, Daniel Johnson 32, Neil Smith 37 (manager)

Braintree Town: Sam Beasant, Sean Clohessy, Jerome Okimo, Harry Lee, Ian Gayle, Manny Parry, Monty Patterson (Joe Maybanks 76), Chez Isaac (Sam Corne 73), Michael Cheek (Lee Barnard 63), Jack Midson, Reece Hall-Johnson.
Subs: Alex Henshall, Kris Twardek

Goals: Michael Cheek 5 (penalty), Jack Midson 33 (penalty), Reece Hall-Johnson 45, 74, Monty Patterson 70

Booked: Ian Gayle 40, Chez Isaac 54

Sent Off: Ian Gayle 84

Attendance: 437
Referee: Mr David Rock (Hertford, Hertfordshire)
Assistants: Mr Graeme Ions (Tunbridge Wells) & Mr Oliver Jackson (Sittingbourne)
Fourth Official: Mr Thomas Danaher (Barton-le-Clay, Bedfordshire)

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