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‘Gutsy performance’ – Andy Woodman delivers verdict as Bromley pick up first win of the 2023-24 National League campaign


Bromley recorded a much-needed first win of the season as they beat Southend United 2-1 at Hayes Lane.

The Ravens have started the season poorly having been winless in their first five league games of the season, with two draws and three defeats.

After their 2-2 draw away at Rochdale on Friday night, manager Andy Woodman made two changes, with Louis Dennis and Jude Arthurs coming in for the suspended Josh Passley and Aribim Pebble.

The first chance of a cagey opening 15 minutes fell to Southend when Jack Bridges’ corner found Harry Cardwell, who forced Bromley stopper Grant Smith into a fine early save in the 17th minute.

Just a minute later, Bromley were presented with a gift when a back-pass by Harry Taylor to goalkeeper Andeng Ndi was under-hit, allowing Louis Dennis to knock the ball past the Southend keeper and slot home into an empty net.

The opener was a catalyst for change in the match, as Bromley began to impose themselves on the opposition and gain a degree of control in the game.

In the 22nd minute, Bromley had a second effort when Corey Whitely beautifully controlled Grant Smith’s pass from a goal kick, turned, and fired an effort at goal, which was easily gathered by Andeng Ndi.

Neither side were able to conjure up any meaningful chances in a largely uneventful final 20 minutes of the first half.

There were no changes at the break from either side.

Early in the second half, Bromley were able to double their lead when, on 56 minutes, Michael Cheek controlled a bouncing ball and fired low into the net.

The Shrimpers pulled a goal back within 2 minutes, with Noor Husin hitting home after the ball fell to him kindly following a failed Bromley clearance from a corner.

Southend had a huge chance to nick a point late on through substitute Jack Wood when, on 83 minutes, Wood found himself bearing down on the Bromley goal, with Grant Smith pulling off an outstanding save to keep Bromley in the lead.

“I thought it was gutsy,” Andy Woodman told the South London Press.

“I thought we were good value for it to be honest. There were moments at the end in our box, which you’d expect against a good-quality side in Southend.

“We were unlucky not to get a penalty and we had a goal chalked off that I feel was onside, that said I thought the officials were brilliant as well. An all-round good day for us.”

Bromley have been plagued by injuries and suspensions in the opening weeks of the season, while also having several signings who have taken time to adapt, which Woodman feels has been a major reason behind their tough start to the season.

“I’ve felt that for the last few weeks to be honest, we obviously haven’t got the results that we want. Two of the draws we got, we had ten men, so they’re good results. I feel we’re now settling in nicely and showing the DNA that I expect a Bromley and Andy Woodman team to show.”

Summer signing Grant Smith made an important save in the closing stages to secure all three points for Bromley.

“Grant’s been excellent – what a signing he’s been,” said Woodman.

“I think he’s been brilliant from start to finish in every game. We just need to see him continue with that type of form. We’ve got a Chelsea loanee (Teddy Sharman-Lowe) who’s itching to play and lost his place due to injury. But Grant’s been first class.”

Bromley’s next match is away to Altrincham on Saturday.


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