With the Spring weather continuing Boro’ faced yet another difficult game, this time against table topping Bromley. Once the run away leaders, the visitors have suffered a dip in form lately and are now starting to look over their shoulders a bit nervously. Even so, it will a tough ask as Boro’ go in search of a win to ease their fears of getting sucked into a scrap at the other end of the table.

In form striker, Connor French, is in the starting line-up with Tyrone Berry filling in for Ollie Treacher at left back. New signing, JJ Hooper is on the bench with the home side again taking the risk of no cover for Kevin Scriven. 

Borough: Scriven, Huggins, Berry, Bosch, Inns (C), Doyle, Bennett (Fearn 87), Ball, French (Hooper 71), Lowe (Page 61) and Lee.
Subs not used:- Ade Cole and Darryl Siaw.

Bromley: Welch, Pooley, Anderson, Waldren, Swaine (C), McKain, Kiernan, (Buchanan 73), Nicholls (Dennis 73), May, Goldberg and Jarrett.

Referee:- Michael George;  Assistants:- Thomas Hancock and Martin Holmes.

Borough kicked off attacking the Moor Road End and straight away, both sides made progress. Boro’s first real assault only brought a goal kick, but showed they meant business. The visitors looked dangerous on the counter attack and Berry did well to hook clear and then block another effort down the right flank. A long clearance from Matt Ball was just too strong for lone striker, Connor French.

Josh Huggins was harshly booked after nine minutes, when Jarrett tumbled with no obvious contact as they both chased the ball. The free kick thankfully landed on the roof of the net. Doyle won a running battle with May down the left and when Goldberg was put through, Berry did well to win the ball and clear. On 20 minutes, May, looking off-side, was allowed to continue and Scriven saved well with
Matt Ball clearing upfield. The remainder of the first half was evenly contested and saw some good approach work from both sides with Lowe and  French doing well for Boro’ while the lively Goldberg was a threat for Bromley, but was often caught off side.

May headed into the Boro’ net just before the half hour, but the whistle had already gone for off-side. The visitors had two good attacking opportunities, both appeared to have stemmed from off side positions, then Kiernan went down rather theatrically in the box, but Referee, Michael George, didn’t want to know. Scriven did well to block an attempt by Goldberg and the last action of the half, saw Josh Huggins, do well to head clear a tricky cross from the right, while running backwards.  Half Time: 0 – 0

Honours even, with Boro’ by no means overawed by the visitors and the only real difference between them being the obvious aerial supremacy of the three tall Bromley midfielders who made life very difficult by making the most of their height even though they were not averse to using the backs of Boro’ forwards on occasions. The league leaders knew they had a game on their hands.

Borough started the second period with real purpose and mounted several useful attacks. In the 53rd minute, Boro’ were given a free kick a few feet inside their own half and few could have anticipated the outcome. Matt Ball strode up and struck the ball high and long
towards the Bromley goal where it managed to avoid the attention of everyone and end up in the top right of Joe Welch’s goal.  1 – 0

Big shoes to fill: Boro’s number 8 Matt Ball celebrates his second goal in the colours of Yellow and Blue this season.

As expected, Bromley countered strongly but found the Boro’ defence in no mood to surrender their lead. After Welch, under close attention from Harry Lee, was forced to blast the ball into touch, Boro’ came again and Lowe was booked for something he said when Bromley were given a free kick.  Boro’s 1st substitution came in the 61st minute with Phil Page replacing Jamal Lowe.

A Bromley attack forced a corner at the other end which was headed wide by skipper Rob Swaine, then Inns was booked for a foul on Kiernan on the edge of the box only for Goldberg to send the free kick high and wide.

Boro’s 2nd substitution came after 71 minutes with the hard working Connor French being replaced by new signing, JJ Hooper.  Bromley then made a double substitution in the 73rd minute, replacing Kiernan and Nicholls with Buchanan and Dennis. Two minutes late, Alfred Bosch saw Yellow for a ‘foul ‘ on Goldberg, which looked for all the world like a poorly executed dive.

Boro’ doubled their advantage in the 81st minute when Bennett won the ball on the right and crossed for JJ Hooper to score his first goal for the club. 2 – 0.

Two minutes later,  Bromley reduced the arrears when sub Louis Dennis, scored after Scriven had beaten out an effort from Jay May. 2 – 1.

The remaining seven minutes, plus the four added by Mr George, saw both sides make chances without being able to add to the score. Boro’ made their final substitution in the 87th minute bringing on CJ Fearn for Dan Bennett and the remaining few minutes saw Inns making two vital clearances and Hooper being caught off side, before a Jarrett cross was headed wide of the target. Bromley pushed to the end forcing timely interventions from Alan Inns and Courtney Fearn before the final whistle drew matters to a close with the final score at Borough 2 –  Bromley 1.

A fighting performance from Borough following the disappointment of two league defeats against strong opposition, despite not playing that badly. A thoroughly deserved win and three vital points. Well done to all.

Attendance: 309 – the absentees were once again the losers.

Match Report by Tony Duff.

Click here to watch Spencer Day and Matt Ball’s Post Match Interviews.

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