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Bromley 4 Ebbsfleet United 2 match report

By Steve Tervet

Bromley ended Ebbsfleet's five-match unbeaten run on New Year's Day.

The Ravens raced into a 3-0 lead inside 36 minutes although goals either side of half-time from Andy Drury and Sean Shields got Fleet back in the game.

They had much of the play in the second half but were killed off by a fourth goal five minutes from time as Bromley climbed back into the National League play-off places.

Ebbsfleet manager Daryl McMahon Picture: Andy Payton
Ebbsfleet manager Daryl McMahon Picture: Andy Payton

Chris Bush took Marvin McCoy's place in the Fleet defence, with Sam Magri reverting to right-back, while Shields was preferred to Myles Weston on the wing.

The only change for Bromley saw centre-half Roger Johnson come in for Ben Chorley.

Adam Mekki sent an early volley wide for the home side but Fleet made a bright start and missed a couple of good chances.

Drury took one touch too many when Magri got to the byline and pulled the ball back, allowing Bromley to clear, before Shields saw his cross skim the crossbar.

Jack Powell sent a shot over after Danny Kedwell had forced a mistake high up the pitch and Luke Coulson should then have done better after neat Ebbsfleet interplay had finished with Powell lifting the ball into his path inside the penalty area.

But Coulson could only shovel the ball wide and Fleet were made to pay for their profligacy when the Ravens went ahead in the 17th minute. Louis Dennis delivered the ball from the right and there was captain Jack Holland for a tap-in.

Bromley keeper David Gregory flapped at a corner moments later but Powell's left-wing delivery was headed over at the far post.

And it was 2-0 just before the half-hour when Mekki's shot took a deflection which wrong-footed Nathan Ashmore and George Porter reacted quickest to poke the loose ball over the line.

Frankie Sutherland toe-poked an effort straight into Ashmore's gloves as Bromley continued to dominate, running through the Fleet midfield at will.

It came as no surprise when they made it 3-0 in the 36th minute although the visitors should certainly have dealt better with Luke Wanadio's left-wing cross which bounced in the six-yard box and drifted all the way in.

Bromley were threatening to run riot although Ebbsfleet pulled a goal back quickly, Drury latching onto Magri's pass and finishing with his left foot.

The home side's midfield dominance prompted a half-time change by Daryl McMahon, who sent Myles Weston on for Powell.

However, Bromley picked up where they left off and Dennis ran 40 yards before testing Ashmore after Drury had given the ball away cheaply. A stumbling Ashmore then touched a cross against the crossbar before getting behind a shot from Wanadio.

Ebbsfleet, unhappy at the award of a free-kick against them in midfield, were caught sleeping when it was taken quick and the ball was worked wide to Mekki, who shot over.

But it was game on when Shields worked a yard of space on the right-hand side and drilled a shot between Gregory and his near post to make it 3-2.

That goal totally changed the complexion of the game with Fleet suddenly full of belief.

Bush had a muted penalty appeal waved away and Weston's flashing cross from the left was almost finished by Shields before Drury and Kenny Clark went close in a scramble.

Kedwell's shot went behind off a defender before Bromley rallied with a curling Dennis effort which extended Ashmore.

But only a crucial touch from Gregory stopped Kedwell heading in a Shields cross before fit-again Bradley Bubb replaced Coulson as Ebbsfleet went two up front.

Bromley looked anxious now and the home supporters were hushed as Weston's shot was palmed by Gregory against one of his defenders before ricocheting behind for a corner.

Rees tried his luck twice for the home side, looping one shot over and driving another one wide as Ashmore dived to his left.

Fleet captain Dave Winfield got his head to a Shields free-kick but could only direct the ball straight at Gregory.

And the Fleet's hopes of snatching a point were snuffed out five minutes from time when Dennis shot took a big deflection and looped over Ashmore to rubber-stamp Bromley's victory.

Bromley: Gregory, Rees, Holland, Dennis, Mekki (Williams 74mins), Sterling, Wanadio (Higgs 67mins), Porter (Raymond 88mins), R Johnson, Sutherland, Woolfenden. Subs not used, D Johnson, Vose.

Ebbsfleet: Ashmore, Magri, Clark, Winfield, Bush (McCoy 77mins), Rance, Drury, Shields, Powell (Weston 46mins), Coulson (Bubb 72mins), Kedwell. Subs not used: Miles, McLean.

Attendance: 1,302 (259 away).

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