Boreham Wood v Bromley
Tuesday 4th October 2022, 7.45pm
LV BET Stadium Meadow Park, National League
It’s fourth vs fifth in the National League as the Wood look to continue their positive run following last weekend’s comeback win over Maidstone United, taking on Bromley on Tuesday night.
IN FOCUS: BROMLEY
After winning the 2014/15 National League South title, Bromley achieved promotion to the top level of non-league football alongside the Wood and like their opponents on Tuesday night, have remained there ever since. A serial mid-table team, the Ravens have established themselves in English football’s fifth tier and have finished 14th, 10th, 9th, 11th, 13th, 7th and 10th since their promotion, rarely being troubled by relegation. However, the arrival of Andy Woodman in 2021 has seen them begin to push up the league and challenge for the play-offs, and will surely be the aim for the London-based outfit this season. Bromley have begun the season positively sitting fifth with six wins, two draws and three defeats, and travel to Hertfordshire intending to make amends on their late capitulation last time out against Solihull Moors with the knowledge that they could leapfrog the Wood with victory.
LAST TIME OUT
Solihull Moors 2-2 Bromley
Saturday 1st October 2022
Vanarama National League
Josh Kelly and Alex Reid both struck late on to seal a point for the ten-men of Solihull Moors, much to the disappointment of a Bromley side who were unable to maintain their two-goal advantage.
It was the hosts who had the better of things early on and went closest to opening the scoring with chances for Kyle Storer and Ryan Barnett. Bromley began to create opportunities of their own with Omar Sowunmi looking to add to his impressive goal tally for the season, before further chances for Billy Bingham, Callum Reynolds and Michael Cheek went amiss. The deadlock was finally broken midway through the first half when George Alexander acrobatically guided Reynolds’ centre into the top right-hand corner, ensuring it was Bromley who went into the break ahead.
The visitors took this momentum into the second half and looked the most likely to score next, with Cheek being denied by the outstretched leg of Ben Coker. Bromley did double their lead with 23 minutes to go, as Reynolds sent a header goal-bound that Jude Arthurs nodded home from a yard out. The Moors responded positively however with Barnett and James Clarke testing Tom Smith from distance, but Storer was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence, supposedly putting the game to bed. It wasn’t to be however, as Kelly restored hope in stoppage time after brilliantly curling the ball into the top corner from range, installing panic into Bromley. This was taken advantage of, and incredibly Solihull found their equaliser with less than a minute to go, as Reid pounced on a Joe Sbarra corner that evaded Smith, nodding home to snatch a point for his side.
Solihull Moors (A) D2-2
Oldham Athletic (H) W3-0
Maidstone United (H) W3-0
York City (A) L2-1
Eastleigh (H) W2-1
Dagenham & Redbridge (A) L4-1
Despite starting the season strongly, Bromley ended August with a shock as they picked up their first defeat since opening day, shipping four at Dagenham & Redbridge. They responded positively with a narrow victory over Eastleigh to make it four wins from their last five games, but consistency proved to be an issue as they followed that up with another defeat, this time to newly promoted York City. The Ravens will have been determined to regain control of their form and begin an unbeaten run, and two successive 3-0 victories over Maidstone United and Oldham Athletic was just what the doctor ordered to send them into the play-off spots. They were on the verge of making it three wins in a row, but crumbled late on against Solihull Moors and were forced to leave Damson Park with a point, leaving them fifth in the National League table.
IN THE DUGOUT: ANDY WOODMAN
Following a playing career that spanned 12 clubs over 17 years, Andy Woodman transitioned into coaching with a spell as assistant manager at Rushden & Diamonds, before joining Alan Pardew’s coaching staff at West Ham United, Charlton Athletic, Newcastle United and Crystal Palace. His first managerial role saw him take over the reins at Whitehawk in 2017 before holding the role as Head of Goalkeeping at Arsenal until March 2021, leaving his position to return to management and join Bromley with whom he would guide to the play-offs on the final day of the season.
ONE TO WATCH: MICHAEL CHEEK
A proven goalscorer at National League level, Michael Cheek made a name for himself at Heybridge Swifts where he earned a move Chelmsford City, with 35 goals in just over a season and a half seeing him switch to Braintree Town. A further 42 goals for the Iron earned a move to Dagenham & Redbridge where he netted 13 goals in his solitary season along with a further 16 coming for Ebbsfleet United, convincing Bromley to move quickly to sign the prolific striker after his release. He has gone on to score 54 goals for the Ravens.
LAST TIME WE MET
Boreham Wood 2-0 Bromley
Saturday 23rd April 2022
LV Bet Stadium Meadow Park, National League
The Wood ended their winless run with a 2-0 victory over Bromley, aiding their push for the play-offs.
It was a lightening quick start for the hosts who came out the blocks in spectacular fashion. After the offside flag saved Bromley from going behind, Tyrone Marsh picked the ball up from a short corner just moments later before firing an absolute cracker into the far top corner to notch his first goal in ten games and open the scoring. This breathed life into the Wood who had previously struggled for form, continuing their improved display with a number of chances for Adrian Clifton, Scott Boden, Jacob Mendy Mendy and Marsh. They were unable to add to their tally before the break, although their stubborn defence meant the Ravens were unable to find a way through at the other end.
Two dramatic moments took place immediately after the interval, with Chris Bush and Jamal Fyfield both making goal-saving interventions at either end to deny Marsh and Michael Cheek respectively. Mendy Mendy later tested Ellery Balcombe twice in quick succession along with Mark Ricketts having a rare sight at goal, but they did soon double their advantage through Boden. Dennon Lewis made a fierce run into the box before delivering towards the back-post where Boden was waiting to tap into the roof of an empty net. This would prove to be the cushion they needed, as they remained resolute throughout the remainder of the game to seal the three points.
HAVEN’T WE MET BEFORE? COREY WHITLEY
Corey Whitley began his career in the PASE academy, playing a handful of times for Boreham Wood’s first team before spending three seasons in the non-pyramid TTFF League for Yalova and later joining Isthmian League side Waltham Forest. He continued his rise up the non-league after enjoying success at Enfield Town, with moves to Dagenham & Redbridge and Ebbsfleet United preceding a switch to League Two side Newport County. Opportunities were limited during his time in Wales and moved on loan to Bromley prior to a temporary return to Meadow Park where he established himself and made 37 appearances in all competitions. He would later depart Rodney Parade permanently, re-joining Bromley where he has gone on to play more than 50 times.
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