Bromley 1-1 Wealdstone - We've gained an important point, says Mark Goldberg

Sunday 28th December 2014

Vanarama Conference South
Sunday 28th December 2014
Stephen McCartney reports from Hayes Lane

BROMLEY manager Mark Goldberg says he was pleased with a point after his side came out of December unbeaten in all seven games.

Wealdstone goalkeeper Jonathan North, 23, produced a man-of-the-match performance to frustrate Bromley, who had to settle for their first league draw at Hayes Lane this season.

Moses Ademola, 25, scored his eleventh goal of the season to give Bromley the lead, before prolific goalscorer Richard Jolly, 31, scored his first goal since coming out of retirement to level for the Stones within four minutes.

Bromley created eighteen goalscoring opportunities (nine of them were saved by North), while Wealdstone created eight (three of which were on target), but the Ravens extended their unbeaten run to ten games.
With league leaders Boreham Wood going down to a 2-0 defeat at Bath City, Bromley remain in second place in the Vanarama Conference South table with 43 points from 21 games, a couple of points behind with a couple of games in hand.

Havant & Waterlooville climbed into third-place (36 points from 20) after winning 2-0 at Bishop’s Stortford; Whitehawk slipped down a place (36 from 22) after losing 2-0 at Farnborough and Ebbsfleet United are fifth (35 from 22) after a crushing 5-1 defeat to Basingstoke Town at Stonebridge Road.

Goldberg, meanwhile, said he was pleased collecting four points from two games that were played over a hectic Christmas programme.

“All in all I thought we deserved to win the game,” he said.

“We’ll take a point and other results went our way. We gained from today. We could’ve got all three points and everyone around us could’ve got all three points and we wouldn’t have gained a point so all in all it’s been a very good Christmas period.

“We’ve gained a point, it’s an important point.

“I think all in all I would’ve taken four points from the last two games and that’s what we’ve got.”

Bromley came away from Essex to thrash Concord Rangers 4-1 on Boxing Day and made one change with Jamie Slabber coming in for Jordan Robertson.

“To a certain extent it was frustrating because we had good chances to have won the game,” admitted Goldberg.

“I thought we penetrated quite well in both halves. I was pleased with the guys but the best chances that fell to the opposition fell due to some misunderstanding between ourselves.  We left ourselves open a few times when they broke and caused a few scares for us.

“But all in all I think we had deserved to have won today.”

With Hayes Lane staging its 70th game of the season, Bromley were frustrating in front of goal, against a Wealdstone side that arrived at Hayes Lane unbeaten in eight games and played an attractive passing game.

Danny Waldren, wearing the captain’s armband in the absence of the injured Rob Swaine, clipped the ball up to Ademola, who sliced a poor left-footed shot harmlessly wide of the left-hand post from 22-yards inside the opening four minutes.

Bromley began to up the tempo and Waldren’s through ball wasn’t cleared by Wealdstone defender Wes Parker and Ademola cut into the area to reach the by-line before cutting the ball back for Reece Prestedge to drag his shot across goal and past the far post from the corner of the six-yard box.

Goldberg said: “Those moments that on another day it’s clinical finishing that’s the difference between the sides that actually end up winning it, so we’ve just got to make sure we’re clinical.

Ugo Udodji progressed down the right to whip in a cross towards the near post where Slabber nipped in front of his man to direct his towering header wide from fifteen-yards.

North was called into action in the 18th minute when he plucked Louis Dennis’ left-footed angled drive out of the air at his near post after Waldren played a sublime diagonal pass for the Bromley winger.

Udoji hurled a long throw into the Wealdstone penalty area which came out to Prestedge, who drilled a low shot past the right-hand post from 20-yards.

It was turning out to be a frustrating day for the home fans in the crowd of 1,239 as Bromley squandered another chance to take the lead.

Dennis played left-back Joe Anderson on the overlap to reach the by-line and he floated over a cross towards the far post where Scannell rose to cushion his header back across goal and Scannell’s overhead kick flew over the bar from six-yards.

Goldberg added: “Miss-communication, I think. Moses was three to head it in. Again, miss-communication but we had the chance.

“I was really pleased with the fact that we had some good goalscoring opportunities. We certainly had some good possession.  Our final ball was probably a bit lacking.

“We had a lot of crosses and a lot of good interplay. I thought we played well. We just lacked that final ball. Maybe the movement wasn’t quite as good as it was in the second half.”

Thirteenth-placed Wealdstone issued Bromley a warning when Luke O’Nien’s run forward saw him play the ball to Matt Ball, who played in striker Scott McGleish, but his cut-back was cleared away by Bromley defender Jack Holland.

Bromley deservedly opened the scoring in the 29th minute but North pulled off a world-class save to thwart Slabber scoring his fifth goal for the club.

Ademola picked the ball up in midfielder and Slabber swept the ball out to Scannell down the right, who whipped a cross into the Wealdstone box where Slabber looked certain to score with a looping header which was destined to find the corner of the net.

But North dived to full-length to his left and with a strong left hand pushed the ball away to safety but his team-mates lacked desire to react to the loose ball and Ademola pounced on the loose ball to steer his low right-footed shot into the bottom far corner from a tight angle.

“Moses anticipated with that one and often we need to anticipate better but he was there for the rebound and poked it home,” said Goldberg.

“It was a brilliant save! The keeper did really well, more than one good save.”

But Bromley’s lead only lasted 259 seconds, as Wealdstone equalised with their first shot on target, through poacher Jolly.

Goldberg admitted he was disappointed with the manner that Matt Ball’s cross from the right was allowed to flash across the penalty area two Wealdstone players were left unmarked.

McGleish’s flicked shot from the edge of the six-yard box was hooked in by Jolly, the ball curling around Seb Brown to nestle into the bottom far corner, much to the delight of the vocal travelling fans.

“We should’ve cleared our lines better and got it away,” admitted the Bromley boss.

“It was two chances to have done that. It bounced, it came off the back of Joe Anderson, I think, possibly. It was a bit of a deflection there which always make it awkward. Ugo let his man get behind him and he’s got to be touch tight in those areas so there was a little bit of a defensive error there.”

Bromley had to wait until the stroke of half-time to create another chance when Scannell cut the ball back to Waldren, who blasted his right-footed drive high over the bar from 25-yards.

When asked about his thoughts at the break, Goldberg replied: “I felt we’ve done enough to come in and be at least 1-0 up!

“I told them to just keep going because I thought we needed to improve our movement. We were running in straight lines a little bit.

“We went out in the second half with a good attitude. Again, we created more opportunities.”

Wealdstone created a decent chance to take the lead inside the opening four minutes of the second half.

Right-back Carl Martin clipped the ball forward, Jolly flicked the ball across to Ball, who skied his volley over from the edge of the penalty area.

Bromley central defender Holland ventured forward towards the edge of the Wealdstone penalty area and poked a reverse pass to put Scannell into the box but his low left-footed angled drive forced North to dive low to his left to hold on to the ball.

Wealdstone should have punished Bromley in the 51st minute when left-winger O’Nein whipped in a low cross to the unmarked Jolly, who steered his first time right-footed shot past the far post.

Ademola’s honesty by staying on his feet whilst being held by his marker ensured referee Ian Cooper didn’t point to the spot after the Bromley striker looped his header into North’s hands – after Udoji floated in a cross from the right.

Udoji then drove in his next cross into Wealdstone’s penalty area, which Slabber swept on the turn with his right-foot and North got down low to his left to parry the shot before gathering the loose ball.

It was clear that it was not going to be Bromley’s day and North made another smart save in the 64th minute, back-peddling to stick out his left hand to push away Dennis’ dipping cross-comes-shot from the left hand side.

Goldberg added: “It felt like that really, although I think the crowd wouldn’t have left until the final whistle because we were still knocking on the door.”

Dennis cut inside to drill a right-footed drive from 25-yards, which flashed past the left-hand post.

Holland reached the halfway line to clip the ball up to Ademola, who drilled his left-footed drive towards goal from 40-yards, which was caught low down like a wicketkeeper by North.

Goldberg made one change with fourteen minutes to go, withdrawing Dennis for Birchall, but Wealdstone were not going to be beaten.

The manager said: “We weren’t quite up to our full-strength on the bench and although Pierre (Joseph-Dubois) was on the bench we weren’t able to use him so we really only had three players on the bench today and maybe, hopefully, for the New Year’s Day game I’ll have more options available to me.”

Scannell cut the ball back for Slabber, whose first time drive deflected narrowly past the left-hand post with nine minutes of the game remaining.

Left-winger Scannell whipped in the resulting corner and the ball came out to Ademola, who was denied by another fine save from North, who beat the ball away, despite the ball screaming through a crowd of bodies.

Wealdstone manager Gordon Bartlett went for the sucker punch during the final five minutes, bringing on pacy winger Shaun Lucien for Jolly.

Lucien’s pace down the right caused Anderson a headache and he reached the corner of the penalty area before delivering the ball but substitute Jonathan Wright looped his header over.

Bromley goalkeeper Brown had to be alert to make his first save at the near post in the 87th minute to catch Lucien’s right-footed angled drive, after the winger played a one-two with Ball outside the area.

Goldberg said: “Right at the end, they could’ve had a chance. Seb pulled off a good save as well.”

Wealdstone created a couple of late chances to snatch victory.

Striker Wright beat the offside trap to cut the ball back to Ball, who cracked his first time right-footed drive high and wide from 22-yards.

Bromley, too, almost won it when kicking down the slope, but Waldren’s right-footed drive flashed past the near post from 25-yards after Scannell’s inside pass.

Wealdstone went close with the last kick of the game but Bromley received a huge slice of luck as the unmarked Lucien curled his shot around the far post from 25-yards.

Goldberg admitted: “We had a bit of a scare at the end.  It would’ve been robbery had they nicked it at the death!”

Concord Rangers arrive at Hayes Lane on New Years’ Day, smarting from the Ravens 4-1 win on Boxing Day.

“The next game we know what to expect from Concord and they know what to expect from us,” said Goldberg.

“On our pitch, difficult conditions again, we should have enough.”

Bromley are one of seven clubs at present who can go on to claim the Vanarama Conference South title at the end of the season.

Bromley have a big nineteen league games left to play and Goldberg wants to get over the winning line in first place.

He said: “If we can just keep going with the same form, then we stand a chance of crossing the line. I see no reason why we can’t keep it going.

“Last year we didn’t have the strength-in-depth we’ve had this year.  Again, injury permitting. Look at Callum (McNaughton) coming in the way he has with Rob Swaine injured.  We couldn’t have done that last year. Hats off to the players who have come in and done a job.”

Bromley host Ryman League Division One South side Corinthian-Casuals in the London Senior Cup (Sponsored by Coventry Scaffolding) First Round on Monday 5 January 2015, before travelling to Torquay United in The FA Trophy Second Round on 10 January.

Bromley will be staying overnight ahead of the game to prepare to face full-time Torquay United, currently sitting in the top nine in the Vanarama Conference.

Goldberg said: “I think if we can get a win on New Years’ Day then that sets us up nicely.

“We’ve got a little break and we’ll go there believing that we can get a result. It’s a big game but we’ll go there with no pressure on us. It’s a game that we can win and we’ll go there and enjoy it.”

Bromley: Seb Brown, Ugo Udoji, Joe Anderson, Reece Prestedge, Callum McNaughton, Jack Holland, Damian Scannell, Danny Waldren, Jamie Slabber, Moses Ademola, Louis Dennis (Adam Birchall 76).
Subs: Paul Rodgers, Paul Agu, Pierre Joseph-Dubois, Ali Fuseini

Goal: Moses Ademola 29

Wealdstone: Jonathan North, Carl Martin, Ryan Watts, Wes Parker, Sean Cronin, Elliott Godfrey, Matt Ball, Daniel Brown (Jonathan Wright 66), Scott McGleish, Richard Jolly (Shaun Lucien 85), Luke O’Nein.
Subs: Joe Turner, Jefferson Louis, Tom Hamblin

Goal: Richard Jolly 33

Booked: Wes Parker 45, Matt Ball 87

Attendance: 1,239
Referee: Mr Ian Cooper (Rochester)
Assistants: Mr Stuart Franklin (Wickford, Essex) & Mr Jack Packman (Margate)