Bromley 0-1 Chelmsford City - We had our chance and didn't take it, admits Bromley's Mark Goldberg

Saturday 06th September 2014

Vanarama Conference South
Saturday 6th September 2014
Stephen McCartney reports from Hayes Lane

BROMLEY manager Mark Goldberg admits his side failed to take their chances to reclaim first place in the Vanarama Conference South after seven games.

The Ravens would have leapfrogged over Eastbourne Borough to the summit had they defeated third-from-bottom side Chelmsford City.

An expectant crowd of 1,485 flocked through the turnstiles at Hayes Lane on Non-League Day, but Chelmsford City gate-crashed the party by grabbing victory through Christian Smith’s volley three minutes before half-time.

But Bromley, who thrashed Chelmsford City 5-0 at home last season, were to suffer their second home defeat of the season when stand-in skipper Danny Waldren sent his penalty over the bar early in the second half.

“We’re obviously disappointing losing 1-0 today in front of such a good crowd,” said Goldberg after his side’s second home defeat in four games.

“We never really got going in the flow we have done recently and it’s just disappointing that we had enough corners and we had enough possession but the goalscoring opportunities weren’t really taken advantage off.

“We weren’t clinical in the last third so when you have that sort of possession and you don’t make it count, on the counter you can always be taken advantage off and I think in all fairness they didn’t really trouble us at all the whole game.

“It all looks very disappointing for all Bromley fans and all of us because we lost. The truth is in terms of possession, we dominated throughout the whole game but at the end of the day goals make the difference between winning and losing and we didn’t score today and they did so good luck to them and we’ve got to bounce back.

“I’m obviously very disappointed that we’ve lost and the manner that we lost.”

Bromley, who scored eight goals in their last two games, created their first opening inside the opening nine minutes.

Adam Birchall swept the ball out wide to Damian Scannell down the left and he whipped in a low cross towards the near post where Birchall sent his left-footed drive past the near post.

“We certainly had more chances than they did,” said Goldberg. 

“I’m not sure how many clear cut chances we created but a lot of corners, a lot of good possession but it just didn’t go for us today.”

Birchall then hooked the ball across the face of the Chelmsford City penalty area where Waldren cracked a right-footed volley over the bar from 22-yards.

Bromley were dominating the first half and Chelmsford City were happy to soak up the pressure and try to hit their high-flying hosts on the counter attack.

Bromley’s holding midfielder, Ali Fuseini played a diagonal pass to Scannell on the left and he cut the ball back towards Moses Ademola, who turned two defenders but steered his left-footed shot past the left-hand post from the edge of the penalty area.

With Chelmsford City now operating with a five-man midfield, Bromley wasted another decent opportunity on the half-hour mark.

Fuseini, Joe Anderson, Ademola, Birchall and Scannell all played their part in the sweeping move, which resulted in Waldren playing the ball inside to Fuseini, who hit a right-footed drive from 30-yards, which was comfortably saved by Eyre.

Birchall played the ball into Waldren, whose initial shot was blocked and the ball came out towards Scannell at the far post, who slid in and poked his shot across Eyre and past the far post.

Former Gillingham striker Birchall still awaits his first goal for Bromley and he was denied by Eyre in the 38th minute.

Left-back Anderson played the ball up into Ademola, who laid the ball off to Birchall whose left-footed angled drive was blocked by Eyre at his near post.  The former Dover Athletic striker then smashed his rebound over the bar.

But despite all of those fluffed Bromley chances, Chelmsford grabbed the victory, totally against the run of play, with 41:30 on the clock.

Inspirational Bromley skipper Rob Swaine was off the pitch with what was confirmed by the central defender on social networking site Twitter after the game was ruptured shoulder ligaments.

It proved to be a decisive moment in the game as Smith was in a position where Swaine would have been positioned.

Long-throw specialist Joe Ward hurled the ball in from the right and the ball came to an unmarked Smith, who hooked a right-footed volley over Seb Brown’s left shoulder into the roof of the net from sixteen-yards.

Goldberg admitted: “Rob Swaine was off the pitch. We didn’t prepare well enough for it. 

“The player was left free at the back of the penalty box and that was their only clear-cut chance and they took it!

“We had enough players back to defend it so I need to look at it again on the video and we need to deal with the fact that we didn’t defend it well enough. That’s the truth!

“We should be capable of getting back into the game. We had long enough to get back into the game and we didn’t take advantage of it so that’s a big disappointment for me.”

Bromley were forced to make a couple of changes at the back. Jack Holland reverted back to centre back alongside Adam Bailey-Dennis and Ugo Udodji came off the bench to slot in at right-back.

Bromley squandered an excellent chance to restore parity early in the second half.

Udodji played in a low cross into the penalty area from the right and winger Pierre Joseph-Dubois was brought down by Mark Hughes and referee Lee Venamore pointed to the spot.

But Waldren stepped up and blasted his right-footed penalty over the crossbar with only one minute and 45 seconds on the clock.

It proved to be the third penalty that the Ravens have missed this season, following Jamie Slabber and Birchall missing from the spot against Basingstoke Town and Wealdstone.

“Normally you put money on Danny to, obviously you can’t bet anymore in football, you’ll expect Danny to score that,” said Goldberg.

“He knows!  That goes in, game changes again. We did it against Basingstoke, had our chance and didn’t take it.”

Goldberg admitted the penalty miss sucked the life out of his team.

“The penalty miss, again, it was just one of those days.

“It’s disappointing. You can see it out there with the players. They didn’t believe. As a management team you want to be out there just telling them you can still do this! You’ve got to believe that you can. It’s all very well playing well when you’re 1-0 up, when you’re 1-0 down, it’s a real test of what you are.

“There are some real disappointing aspects of today’s game and most of all losing 1-0.”

But Bromley started to run out of ideas the longer the game went on, with Ademola not getting on the ball much after the interval.

Birchall was given space on the edge of the penalty area and on both occasions his right-footed drives were comfortably saved by Eyre.

But Chelmsford City should have killed the game off with a second goal in the 58th minute.

Right-back Rob Girdlestone played a low pass into Hughes, who floated a cross towards the far post where striker Michael Cheek hooked his left-footed shot into the ground from eight-yards and Brown grabbed the ball at his near post.

Goldberg brought on Louis Dennis and Jamie Slabber to add height to his frustrating forward line – taking off Birchall and winger Joseph-Dubois – but the manager was disappointed with his players as the game edged towards the final 20 minutes.

“With 20 minutes to go, instead of putting pressure on in the penalty box we were playing the ball out from the back and thinking that we can find our men with 50 passes before you score a goal, which never happens and we just played in to their hands and we gave the ball away having had possession.

“When you’re 1-0 down with 20 minutes to go you need to sometimes need to go a little bit more direct and put pressure on the opposition.

“It’s just another learning curve for the boys. We like to play football but there are times when you play football and there are times you need to be a little bit more direct and we have to learn when to do that.”

Scannell drilled in an angled drive from a tight angle, which was blocked by Eyre at his near post, after the Ravens attacked the right hand side.
Goldberg said: “I think we got into some good areas where maybe the better option would be to pull the ball back. We were trying to shoot from difficult angles.”

Chelmsford City almost doubled their lead when central defender Yado Mambo almost capped off his debut with a goal.

Lee Sawyer swung in a free-kick with his left-foot from the left and the former Charlton Athletic and Dover Athletic defender rose to glance his header wide.

Chelmsford City began to edge further forward inside the final ten minutes as it became clear that it wasn’t going to be Bromley’s day.

Hughes went on a mazy run forward and laid the ball off to the unmarked Sawyer, who stroked his first time shot from inside the penalty area with his right-foot straight at the former AFC Wimbledon stopper, who made a comfortable save.

Chelmsford substitute, striker Luke Callender, had a couple of late shots, one drifting harmlessly wide of the far post after he cut into the penalty area and the other sending a right-footed drive sailing over from 30-yards.

Chelmsford City took their only corner inside injury time, before Bromley should have equalised with their seventh at the death.

Bromley goalkeeper Brown sprinted into the Chelmsford penalty area for Anderson’s inswinging corner from the right, but Holland held his head in his hands after planting his towering header over the bar.

The final whistle brought disappointment around Hayes Lane that Bromley failed to deliver the goods in front of their largest crowd of the season – against a side that started the game in the bottom three.

“I’m glad you know the stats,” added Goldberg. “I can only see that we’ve conceded a goal. The fact is we did create a lot of chances and we didn’t score today and on another day we score four. It’s just one of those days.”

Goldberg hailed the day as a success on the terraces but not out where it really matters – the pitch.

“It’s great, a very successful day. The club all round has put on a very good event and everybody off the pitch has performed - unfortunately on the pitch we just didn’t quite do justice to a great day.

“The fact that it was Non-League Day must have helped a lot.  It’s still great to get 1,485 people here. It shows what the new chairmen (Ashley and Derek Reading) are doing down here. It seems there is a real good vibe about the place and I think even though we lost hopefully the fans that can see we contributed to the game as best as we could.

“It’s just disappointing. It’s a home game, there’s a big crowd. We didn’t want to disappoint today and we have but all in all we showed enough to know that we are capable of competing up there.”

Goldberg takes his side to newly-promoted St Albans City on Monday night.

The Saints will also be looking to bounce back after their 4-1 defeat at Ebbsfleet United today and are in 12th place in the table with three wins from their seven games.

Bromley, meanwhile, have slipped down to fourth-place in the table with 13 points, two points behind new leaders Basingstoke Town.

“I’d like to analyse the game a little bit more. We’ll respond on Monday, we need to,” said Goldberg.

“It’s too early on. We’re still up there competing and we expect that we can continue to be up there competing as the season goes on.”

Bromley: Seb Brown, Jack Holland, Joe Anderson, Ali Fuseini, Rob Swaine (Ugo Udoji 44), Adam Bailey-Dennis, Pierre Joseph-Dubois (Jamie Slabber 64), Danny Waldren, Damian Scannell, Adam Birchall (Louis Dennis 66), Moses Ademola.
Subs: Paul Agu, Harry Grant

Booked: Adam Bailey-Dennis 12, Damian Scannell 86, Louis Dennis 90

Chelmsford City: Nicky Eyre, Rob Girdlestone, Leon Redwood, Mark Hughes, Mark Haines, Yado Mambo, Lee Sawyer, Christian Smith, Joe Ward (James Love 66), Michael Cheek, Nicky Nicolau.
Subs: Harry Morgan, Marvin Ekpiteta, Niklas Freund

Goal: Christian Smith 42

Booked: Mark Haines 16, Luke Callender 79, Nicky Eyre 87

Attendance: 1,485
Referee: Mr Lee Venamore (Maidstone)
Assistants: Mr Nick Dunn (Deal) & Simon Finnigan (Maidstone)