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Non-league: Bromley boss wants ‘graft’ to end dip in form after 2-1 defeat to Hartlepool


Bromley suffered back-to-back National League losses after a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Hartlepool United today.

The Ravens came into the match after a deflating loss to relegation struggling AFC Fylde and are now five without a victory.

There was a perfect start for Bromley, with Michael Cheek opening the scoring after nine minutes courtesy of a Corey Whitely ball across the box for the striker to score his 14th league goal of the season.

With 12 minutes on the clock,  there were appeals for a Bromley penalty after Besart Topalloj went to ground in the Hartlepool box but they were waved away.

Bromley continued their strong start to the game, with Cheek denied his second from a tight angle, stopper Joel Dixon doing well to narrow the space for him to finish.

After Bromley failed to capitalise on their chances after taking the lead, Hartlepool were able to equalise with their first meaningful effort. Captain Nicky Featherstone received the ball following a corner and found Emmanuel Dieseruvwe, who headed in the equaliser.

Bromley lost their early momentum and struggled to establish the control that they had in the early stages.

Debutant Ashley Charles came the closest for Bromley before half-time. His free kick from just outside the Hartlepool penalty box was tipped over by Dixon.

It was Hartlepool who started the second half in the ascendancy, with Grant Smith denying Tom Crawford’s header from close range on 51 minutes.

After early pressure in the second half, Hartlepool were gifted a golden opportunity to take the lead when Ben Krauhaus was dispossessed in the midfield. The ball was played across the Bromley box and debutant Kamarl Grant converted into his own net.

The closest Bromley came to an equaliser was via Besart Topalloj. His header went just wide from a Charles corner on 71 minutes.

Manager Andy Woodman told the South London Press: “We need to get back to keeping clean sheets and we haven’t been looking like doing that.

“We can have all the play, and do all the huffing and puffing – but if you can’t keep a clean sheet you won’t finish near the top of the table.

“Goals change games. Credit to them, he (Diesuruvwe) is a danger. If you give him a bit of space he’ll get on the end of it. He nicked a yard and we know what he’s good at, and he punished us with an unbelievable header.

“Sometimes you’ve got to hold your hands up and say it’s a good goal. But the second goal is of our own doing. We made a few mistakes leading up to the goal, which isn’t like us. That being said we’ve got to get back to getting clean sheets”.

Although still second, Bromley have no wins in their last five National League matches and have suffered back-to-back defeats.

With runaway leaders Chesterfield up next, Woodman was asked how he’ll look to get the momentum and confidence back within the group.

He said: “We’ve got to graft. We’ve got to go back to basics a little bit. I don’t think we should ring the alarm bells.

“I know everyone will do it because of the giddy heights of where we are. But it’s just margins at the moment. We’ve got to keep our nerve, don’t stress and get back to being a tight-knit group.”


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