Bromley 3-2 Kidderminster Harriers - I think there’s no doubt that clubs are starting to look at us as being a threat, says Bromley boss Mark Goldberg

Tuesday 22nd September 2015
Bromley 3 – 2 Kidderminster Harriers
Location Hayes Lane, Bromley, Kent BR2 9EF
Kickoff 22/09/2015 19:45

Vanarama National League
Tuesday 22nd September 2015
Stephen McCartney reports from Hayes Lane

BROMLEY manager Mark Goldberg says he is pleased with the club’s first 12 games – and is targeting a top half finish in their debut Vanarama National League campaign.

The Ravens are sitting proudly in the top-eight on 20 points in what is a dream start to Bromley’s life in the top-flight of non-league football.

Bromley won their fifth game on the bounce tonight after beating plucky bottom-of-the-table Kidderminster Harriers, who arrived at Hayes Lane without a win in 11 games (with five points) and having parted company with their manager Gary Whild on the eve of the game.

Football development director Colin Gordon took charge for tonight’s visit to Bromley and his side put in an impressive first half performance and certainly didn’t look like a side that were struggling at the foot of the table.

In true Bromley tradition, they let a struggling side take the lead as right-winger Jordan Jones slipped in his first goal for Kidderminster Harriers to leave the Hayes Lane faithful shell-shocked, especially after THAT 7-3 win at Torquay United at the weekend.

But Louis Dennis curled in a beautiful free-kick to bring Bromley on level terms, before Moses Emmanuel – the artist formerly known as Moses Ademola - scored his tenth goal of the season early in the second half, before Anthony Cook broke the back of the net with a penalty just before the hour.

Kidderminster Harriers made it a nervy finish after Jones found the top corner with a long-range finish, but Bromley held on to secure their sixth win of the season after edging this entertaining game.

“Obviously we knew tonight was going to be a very difficult game,” said Goldberg.

“Kidderminster’s desperate to get their season underway, they caused us all kinds of problems to be fair.  We had to grind out the victory today.

“I thought they were a threat going forward.  We just got a little bit complacent after scoring the third goal and I was a little bit disappointed in the way we conceded the second. It’s a bit of a story recently where we concede sloppy goals but we’re grinding out the wins so I suppose on one hand I’m really delighted but on the other hand I’ve got to make sure we shore up. We shouldn’t need to score three goals to win a game.”

Bromley created the first opening after only 33 seconds but central midfielder Max Porter’s speculative 35-yarder sailed high over the crossbar.

Kidderminster Harriers were impressive down the left hand side and a good run from winger Tahvon Campbell saw him cut into the penalty area before laying the ball off to Luke Maxwell, who lashed his left-footed drive over the bar from 20-yards.

Kidderminster Harriers got out of the blocks faster than Bromley and it took the hosts time to get going.

The weight of expectation is now greater on them since their wins over Gateshead, Macclesfield Town, Boreham Wood and Torquay United propelled them up the league table.

Kidderminster Harriers broke the stalemate with 20 minutes on the clock.

Central midfielder Joe Clarke played a diagonal pass to left-back Kevin Toner, who had advanced into the Bromley half.  Campbell got involved on the corner of the penalty area before he cut the ball back to Gurjit Singh, who whipped a low deflected cross and Jones nipped in front of his marker to slide the ball into the bottom left-hand corner from six-yards.

“There was a deflection on the cross and I was a little bit disappointed that they got to the ball first to slip it home but I need to look at that on the video,” said Goldberg.

“It was always going to be a difficult one. I mean, we certainly didn’t expect us to carry on with the way we left off.

“The first 60 minutes of any game is always going to be tough and I’m glad we got the equaliser that we did having gone a goal behind.”

Bromley should have equalised with their first shot on target after 25 minutes.

Cook was tripped by Maxwell 35-yards from goal and quick thinking from Ali Fuseini opened up the Kidderminster defence with a quickly taken free-kick which put Emmanuel through on goal and his right-footed drive from ten-yards was saved by Alex Palmer, who dived low to his right at his near post to parry the ball before grabbing hold of the loose ball.

Bromley improved as the first half went on and right-back Paul Rodgers (who was forced off the pitch with a stomach bug) reached the by-line to wrap his right-footed around the wall to whip in an out-swinging cross which was hit over the bar by left-back Joe Anderson from just inside the box.

Fuseini then collected a loose ball and took a touch before dragging his right-footed shot harmlessly wide from 25-yards, before Bromley produced a fine move which resulted in Cook whipping in a cross from the right but Emmanuel’s looping header from 16-yards was comfortably caught by Palmer.

Bromley – who as Conference South leaders lost at home to bottom-of-the-table Staines Town 1-0 last season – extinguished their fans worries of a repeat by equalising with a quality strike in the 37th minute.

Bromley were awarded a free-kick on the left-hand corner of the penalty area after Cook was fouled by Clarke.

Dennis – who scored a free-kick at Torquay United from similar distance on Saturday – whipped his right-footed free-kick around the wall and curling into the bottom left-hand corner past the diving Palmer to score from 20-yards.

Goldberg was full of praise for Dennis, who scored his third goal of the season in sensational fashion.

He said: “It was a brilliant finish. It was very similar to (his goal at Torquay), slightly different angle for him, but to get it up and over the wall into that position, that technique, is just sensational.”

Porter flashed his left-footed angled drive past the far post from 25-yards for Bromley, before Kidderminster broke down the left again through Campbell and once inside the penalty area dragged his shot across Chris Kettings and past the far post.

A run and cross from Cook down the left only just missed Jack Holland’s head – the central defender turned right-back turned emergency forward proving his versatility as Bromley’s run of wins has coincided with injuries to key personnel.

Dennis burst from the middle of the park and into the Kidderminster penalty area before drilling his left-footed angled drive into the side netting before Kidderminster went close just before the break.

Styche played the ball to Maxwell, who went on a mazy run, beating two Bromley players before he curled his right-footed shot around the far post from 20-yards.

Goldberg said: “We went in at half-time and I always feel in the second half we believe that we can finish stronger especially we have the advantage of kicking down the slight slope shall we say?

“We wanted to try and get a little bit more movement from the front two just to stretch the defence a little bit more and created more openings and we did that and I’m pleased when we got the goal.”

With Goldberg’s words still ringing in his players’ ears, Bromley took the lead 157 seconds into the second half.

Porter rolled the ball to Fuseini, who picked out the run from substitute right-back Ugo Udoji, who reached the by-line before cutting the ball back.

Kidderminster’s central defender Jordan Tunnicliffe was guilty of making a poor clearance, poking the ball into Emmanuel’s path, the Bromley striker taking a touch before lashing his right-footed shot into the roof of the net from eight-yards.

Goldberg said: “We work on catching the opposition off guard with early crosses and first time through balls. It was from the training ground.”

Goldberg was full of praise for Emmanuel, the National League’s leading goalscorer.

“He’s been exceptional!  I was saying earlier how much more he’s playing for the team because he’s more of a team player. He’s scoring more goals, he makes goals as well but I think the difference between this year than last year was last year he was more of an individual maverick, this year he’s a team player and he’s showing intelligence.  Who knows how far he can go as a footballer?”

Bromley produced a slick one-touch move involving Dennis and Emmanuel which put Holland through on goal but a last-ditch tackle from Kelvin Langmead denied him a shot on goal as he would have only had the keeper to beat.

Bromley eased into a 3-1 lead through Cook’s third penalty of the season in the 59th minute.

Cook won the penalty himself, being fouled on the right hand side of the penalty area by Langmead and referee John Busby pointed to the spot.

Cook stepped up and smacked his right-footed penalty into the top left-hand corner – sending the keeper the wrong way.

The goal-net needed some repairs before the game could re-start.

“I could see Cookie winning the penalty,” said Goldberg. “You saw him approaching the player from behind, you knew he was going to get a nick and get the penalty and he does that so cleverly and he buried it well.”

But to their credit, Kidderminster Harriers refused to lie down and die and they pulled a second goal back in the 64th minute to make the rest of the game interesting.

Jones drilled his right-footed shot towards goal from nearly 30-yards, the ball taking a deflection off Ben Chorley, which sailed into the top left hand corner to give on-loan Crystal Palace keeper Kettings a sorry statistic of conceding five goals during his first two games for Bromley.

“We were a little bit sloppy after we went 3-1 up but to concede the second half was disappointing,” admitted Goldberg.

“I think there was a deflection involved in their second goal so that probably could’ve been avoided. I’ll have to look at that on the video.”

Bromley had to score a fourth goal to kill off plucky Kidderminster Harriers and the Ravens created a couple of efforts within 59 seconds of each other as the second half reached the halfway point.

Cook’s wing magic down the left saw him beat Jones before laying the ball off to Dennis, who curled his right-footed shot around the keeper and far post from 16-yards.

Cook was further out when he whipped in a curling shot which forced Palmer to dive to his left to push the ball around the post.

Campbell was no longer a threat for Kidderminster during the second half but he latched onto a pass from substitute Aman Verma but whilst under pressure he drilled his shot well wide of the Bromley goal from inside the penalty area.

Bromley were feeling tired as the game headed towards its conclusion and Kidderminster pressed for an equaliser.

Jared Hodgkiss played the ball up from right-back into Jones, who whipped in a cross from the right touch line towards the near post where substitute Andre Wright planted his free header over the bar from eight-yards with less than five minutes remaining.

Referee John Busby played six minutes and 10 seconds of time added on and Kettings had to be alert to pluck the ball out of the air high to his left to prevent Campbell curling a 30-yard shot into the top far corner at the death.

Goldberg said: “Anything can happen, six minutes up on the clock. Everyone’s tired. We’ve got tired legs out there and I think we were sitting too deep as well.  It’s something that does concern me a little bit, very late on in games.  Whether we maybe even get some fresh legs on at the back, it’s something to think about.

“The game got stretched in the last 20 minutes. Let’s be fair it’s always tight when there’s only one goal in it and there’s six minutes on the clock for extra-time. We always worry here at Bromley – or away at Halifax (who grabbed two injury goals to snatch a 2-2 draw) but we got the result and in the end we showed a little bit more professionalism in those later stages when we are one goal up.”

Bromley are the leading goalscorers in the Vanarama National League with 26 goals already and they have scored 17 goals in their last 5 games, albeit conceded 7 in their last three outings.

“It’s a massive concern for us that we’ve only achieved 15 points from the last five games,” smiled the Bromley manager.

He added: “We won’t paint over the cracks. We will work hard to stop conceding goals but if you look back at the five games, five wins. I don’t mind learning lessons when you’re winning, it’s when you lose it’s disappointing and very hard to take.”

Bromley welcome Chester – who were defeated 2-1 at Welling United tonight – on Saturday with their opponents sitting in fifteenth-place in the table with 16 points.

Goldberg said: “They’re a very experienced National League side, an ex-League side. It’s going to be the same as probably what we got against Macclesfield, Wrexham, Gateshead, tough opposition, but I thought today was very tough opposition. I don’t think there’s any easy games in this level.”

Little old Bromley, eighth-place in the Vanarama National League and now only one point adrift of the play-off places and eight points adrift of leaders Forest Green Rovers.

When asked if rival clubs are starting to take notice of Bromley, Goldberg replied: “I think there’s no doubt that clubs are starting to look at us as being a threat.

“What have we got? We’ve played 12 games so that’s 34 games left but look we’re pleased with the first 12 games.

“I think we’re a little bit disappointed that we’ve only climbed one place tonight. It’s so hard to get wins and when you only climb one place you get a little bit disappointed.

“We’re looking to avoid relegation first and then we want to finish in the top half of the table and who knows?  Once we achieve that first target then I’m sure we’re going as higher finish as we can.”

Bromley: Chris Kettings, Paul Rodgers (Ugo Udoji 29), Joe Anderson, Ali Fuseini, Rob Swaine, Ben Chorley, Louis Dennis (Pierre Joseph-Dubois 82), Max Porter, Moses Emmanuel, Jack Holland, Anthony Cook.
Subs: Reece Prestedge, Bradley Goldberg, Sean Francis

Goals: Louis Dennis 37, Moses Emmanuel 48, Anthony Cook 59 (penalty)

Kidderminster Harriers: Alex Parker, Jared Hodgkiss, Kevin Toner, Luke Maxwell (Calvin Dinsley 82), Kelvin Langmead, Jordan Tunnicliffe, Tahvon Campbell, Joe Clarke, Gurjit Singh (Andre Wright 46), Reece Styche (Aman Verma 76), Jordan Jones.
Subs: Dean Snedker, Jake Green

Goals: Jordan Jones 20, 64

Attendance: 776 (40 away)
Referee: Mr John Busby  (Wallingford, Oxfordshire)
Assistants: Mr Neil West (Leigh-on-Sea, Essex) & Mr Daniel Cook (Colchester, Essex)
Fourth Official: Mr David Spain (Westfield, East Sussex)