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Dover Athletic 1 Bromley 2 - match report

By Alex Hoad

Bromley burst Dover's early season bubble with a 2-1 win in the National League at Crabble on Tuesday night.

Fresh from a superb opening day win at Hartlepool, Dover began both halves in menacing fashion but were unable to turn their superiority into goals and the visitors punished them on the break in either half.

First Josh Rees swept home 12 minutes before half-time after superb work from Louis Dennis and Dennis doubled the lead 18 minutes from time after a lightning break the length of the field.

Chris Kinnear. Picture: Gary Browne.
Chris Kinnear. Picture: Gary Browne.

Dover did pull one back when a Kadell Daniel free-kick ended up in the net off keeper David Gregory, but Whites were unable to fashion an equaliser and suffered a second home defeat to Bromley in three seasons.

The game began at lightning pace and within 20 seconds Bromley forward Louis Dennis jinked in from the left and sent in a low shot which Mitch Walker got down well to hold at his near post.

Within a minute Jamie Allen had gone close at the other end with a 20-yard swerving drive which former Crystal Palace keeper David Gregory palmed away.

Dover piled on the pressure in the early stages, clearly buoyed by their opening day win at Hartlepool, and won five set-pieces taken by skipper Mitch Brundle in the opening 10 minutes.

One such cross dropped to Giancarlo Gallifuoco who hooked an effort towards tghe far post with Gregory clawed away under pressure from Ryan Bird.

The bright start did fizzle out though Bird teed-up Allen to fire another effort over from range but midway through the half a cross from one-time Dover trialist Luke Wanadio dropped to Brett Williams who saw a fierce shot blocked.

The deadlock should have been broken on 27 minutes when Josh Rees escaped the Dover defence and was played clean through on the right of the box, only to pull his low shot across the face of goal with only Walker to beat.

Amends were made six minutes later however when the lively Dennis blazed down the right leaving Gallifuoco in his wake before driving to the byline and expertly cutting back for the unmarked Rees to fire home his first Bromley goal since signing from Chelmsford from 10 yards.

Connor Essam went into the book for a crude challenge on halfway soon after but Dover regrouped and two crosses from Allen on the right caused havoc, the first being cut-out by the diving Gregory with the second whisked away from the lurking Kane Richards by defender Ben Wynter.

At the other end it was nearly 2-0 at the break as ex-Dover man Adam Mekki drove forward and and intended pass broke through the Whites defence sending Williams clean through, only for Walker to save superbly with his feet.

After the break Richards might have done better with a close-range header from an Allen cross before a swerving 25-yard free-kick from Brundle was punched away by Gregory with Manny Parry's follow-up also tipped wide.

Gregory struggled to deal with crosses at times but the stopper made a superb fingertip save to keep out a fierce Allen strike after Essam's fine flick on 55 minutes and then an instinctive reaction save when the subsequent corner - Dover's 15th of the game - dropped to Richard six-yards out.

The game was decided with 18 minutes remaining as Passley won a free-kick in the corner and Brundle's cross was headed goalwards by Essam, only for his effort to be cleared off the line.

Bromley broke the length of the field at pace and sub Iffy Allen played in Dennis on the left of the box to slot low past Walker and send the travelling fans wild.

Dover did halve the deficit just four minutes later after Passley won another deep free-kick, taken with his first touch by sub Kadell Daniel, whose overhit cross hit the underside of the bar and went in off the back off Gregory amid a far-post scramble.

Toby Sho-Silva came on for defender Parry as Dover threw caution to the wind but Bromley sub George Porter fluffed two good chances as Bromley looked dangerous on the counter-attack.

Bird sliced a close-range volley past the post with six minutes remaining after sub Mitch Pinnock flicked into the box and the visitors saw out the remainder of the game with some stoic defending with Ben Chorley, Jack Holland and sub Alan Dunne equal to everything Dover threw at them.

Dover: Walker, Passley, Ilesanmi, Gallifuoco, Parry (Sho-Silva 78mins), Essam, Richards (Daniel 75mins), Brundle (Pinnock 83mins), Allen, Bird, Nortey. Subs not used: Pinnock, Adebowale, Barnard.

Bromley: Gregory, Rees, Sutherland, Chorley, Holland, Williams, Dennis (Dunne 86mins), Mekki (Porter 65mins), Sterling, Wanadio (Allen 64mins), Wynter. Subs: Johnson, Higgs.

Attendance: 1,145

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