Bromley 1-1 Southend United | This is local London
Had Bromley beaten Southend United, it would have reached the top of the Vanarama National League by 2022.
However, their hopes were dashed when they had to play with ten men for the last seventeen minutes. Liam Trotter suddenly stopped and could not continue. Bromley had already made three substitutions so they held out in the end.
The chances were high in the first half, although Bromley would have felt they should have been in the lead at break.
Louis Dennis had the first shot on goal when his shot from a tight angle was knocked around the post by Steve Arnold. A scramble followed from the corner and Will Atkinson was grateful to pick it up from the far post.
On the other end, Zak Brunt almost caught the Ravens with a well-executed ‘Rabona’, but the towering Omar Sowunmi extinguished the danger by headed him to the corner. Nathan Ralph then charged for the visitors, but got between two boxes and rolled him far over the long post.
Ralph was on defensive shortly afterwards when he blocked a shot from Louis Dennis after landing at the end of a cheek flick. Cousins then delivered a corner to the far post, where Sowunmi jumped unhindered, but headed just wide from close range.
Matthew Dennis came at the end of a good Southend train and although he didn’t have a clean hookup, Mark Cousins still had to walk on his left to make a good low parade. Chris Bush then delivered a long free kick into the Southend box, Sowunbi headed down, and Cheek’s shot on the turn was half blocked for Steve Arnold.
In added time, Bromley has his second clear chance of the game. Luke Cousins freed himself on the right and pulled it back to Jude Arthurs, who was late, but a defense attorney and Arnold threw themselves into the line of fire and turned them around between them.
After the break, Southend came out on purpose and Dennis made room and shot just wide before Jason Demetriou missed twice. At first a mistake on defense let him in, but he shot his shot high and far away, then he hit a low cross with a header but was unable to steer it on target.
Liam Trotter’s ram hit John White, which resulted in him requiring treatment. Then he suffered another injury when George Alexander rammed him into the wall.
Bush shot a free kick high and wide, but moments later, and when Bromley was preparing for a change, they moved on. Cheek ended up getting a diagonal ball from Trotter into the box and his header hit Arnold and flew home.
Surprisingly, Bromley continued his last substitution, bringing in a striker, James Alabi, for midfielder Harry Forster, but Southend equalized immediately. Sam Dalby controlled a cross well and his small square pass and a good first ball contact from Dennis created space and the Norwich City loanee scored with a delicate finish.
Shortly thereafter, Trotter hobbled away, so Bromley changed his priorities to defend the point they had.
Lewis Gard nearly blocked her with a shot that whistled just wide of the post, then Rhys Murphy hooked into the crowd. They had another chance in stoppage time when Dalby’s shot was cleared from the line and Demetriou could only take the rebound far back.
Despite not finishing the year in the top spot, Bromley is still in fourth place while Southend’s point could be important in the battle against relegation.
Bromley: Cousins, Bush, Coulson, Trotter, Webster, Sowunmi, Arthurs, Forster (Alabi 66), Cheek, Sablier (Whitely 55), Dennis (Alexander 45). Unused Subs: Partington, Cawley.