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Bromley 3 Dover Athletic 0: Reaction from Bromley boss Neil Smith

Manager Neil Smith praised the performance of former Gillingham midfielder Josh Rees as Bromley exacted revenge on Dover Athletic.

Rees, who spent the 2018/19 season with Gills before re-joining the Ravens last August, netted Bromley's second in their 3-0 National League home win over Dover.

Bromley boss Neil Smith
Bromley boss Neil Smith

He doubled Bromley's advantage shortly after the restart, with Frankie Raymond having fired the hosts in front from the penalty spot in the first period at Hayes Lane.

Michael Cheek then broke through to score a third for Bromley who had fallen to a 3-0 loss to Andy Hessenthaler's team on Boxing Day.

"The run was amazing," said Smith as he described Rees' goal.

"He attacked Bobby-Joe (Taylor) and then came inside to just pass it in. Maybe earlier in the season, he might have snatched at it and tried to get some power on it but he just placed it in.

"But Josh is a good player. I signed him because I knew what he could do.

"He was a little bit lacking in confidence, coming to the side after leaving Gillingham.

"But I think, in the last two games, if (Luke) Coulson doesn’t score like he did against Dagenham, then he may have got the man-of-the-match award then. But he was a worthy winner of it (the man-of-the-match gong) here."

Smith hailed the performance of former Gillingham midfielder Josh Rees after his side's win over Dover. Picture: Ady Kerry
Smith hailed the performance of former Gillingham midfielder Josh Rees after his side's win over Dover. Picture: Ady Kerry

Dover had enjoyed the better of the opportunities in the first half but fell behind on the stroke of half-time before Bromley took control of the contest, second-half strikes from Rees and Cheek making sure of the points.

When asked if his team's goal late in the first period had changed his half-time team talk, Smith replied: "Absolutely.

"Against Eastleigh, we looked like the dominant side for the first 30 minutes or so and ended up losing.

"So we have rode our luck a little bit, (although) we have not had a lot of luck since probably October, so I think we were due some.

"Frankie then steps up, takes the penalty (to put Bromley ahead) and, in the second half, we just looked like a more confident side.

"We looked like a team that wanted to go on and kill the game. We then got the second goal so early in the second half, and what a great goal it was!

"After that, I felt the win was thoroughly deserved."

Bromley are now third in the table, having claimed six points from their three fixtures over the festive period, responding to their loss at Dover with back-to-back successes against Dagenham & Redbridge and at home to Dover.

"The performances before the Dagenham & Redbridge game weren’t great but I think that was down to a lack of players, a lack of confidence and a lack of belief," said Smith.

"I think, slowly, we are getting that belief back that we had at the beginning of the season.

"We have a long way to go, loads more points to play for, but I’m just seeing the team that we had at the beginning of the season coming back again."

He added: "Our first target was to get to 50 points as quickly as we can. After that, you’ve got a free hit.

"We’ve got that free hit. We’ve got nothing to lose now.

"We are sitting third, two points off the top and who would have said we would be in this position going into 2020? I don’t think a lot of people would have.

"So while we are there, we want to give it our best shot. To do that, you have to be at your very, very best because everyone wants to beat you."

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