Bromley 1-0 Hartlepool United
Bromley 1-0 Hartlepool United

Bromley’s play off bid received a huge boost with a hard fought single goal victory over third place Hartlepool at a windy Hayes Lane on Monday afternoon.

Andy Woodman made one change to his starting line up with Frankie Raymond coming in for Luke Coulson and Jack Holland returned to the bench after an injury lay off. Going in with a 4-3-1-2 formation.

The game got off to an open and attacking start, Ben Williamson had an early chance saved by Heinrich Ravas in the Pools goal, before the visitors went close when Ryan Donaldson cut in from the right and fired a powerful shot in that Mark Cousins tipped away for a corner.

From the resulting dead ball Gavan Holohan saw his header gathered by Cousins. Michael Cheek had a goal ruled out for offside as game opened up even more and Charlie Fox then got a toe to a Raymond free kick that was saved by Ravas from close range.

Williamson had an effort from 20 yards saved again by Ravas, then at the other end Holohan fired wide and Mark Shelton shot over from range.

On the half hour mark Bromley created a great chance when Raymond and Bridge combined down the right and the ball across the area found Jude Arthurs who glanced his diving header just wide of the far post.

The end to end theme of the match continued as Donaldson crossed for David Ferguson, but Joe Kizzi did brilliantly to intercept the pass and put it out for a corner.

Kizzi was on hand again soon after to head another Donaldson ball from the right away to safety.

Then the key moment of the game came on 41 minutes with Donaldson off the pitch changing his boots, Bromley attacked down the left again, Bridge set up Raymond whole crossed for Arthurs and this time the young midfielder made no mistake with his header planting it into the net from six yard out to put The Ravens in front.

Bromley saw the half out to go into the break with the lead.

The second half saw Bromley start brightly with a series of corners, before Hartlepool then had a good attacking spell.

Nicky Featherstone shot wide from range before Luke Molyneux cut in from the wing and then hit a powerful strike that Cousins palmed away.

Donaldson tested the Bromley keeper again with a dangerous cross that Cousins tipped over and he then made a superb double save to deny Donaldson again from the edge of the area and then managed to push Luke Armstrong’s follow up header against the post and gather the rebound.

With the wind playing havoc with any high balls both sides struggled to get it under control, although Liam Trotter almost scored when he hooked a Arthurs corner goal wards and Ravas tipped it on to the bar.

A deep cross from Kizzi found Cheek at the far post who headed it back towards James Alabi, but his header was well saved by the Pools keeper.

As Hartlepool continued to press and play balls into the box Cousins did well to deal with them, with his defenders making some superb blocks too, Billy Bingham making a great block to foil Danny Elliott’s drive from 18 yards.

The game continued to be wide open with Timi Odusina making a well timed tackle to stop Alabi who had latched on to a long throw from Chris Bush. Late in the half Hartlepool were reduced to ten men when Gary Liddle was shown a second yellow card after he had crudely fouled Alabi as the Bromley sub charged down the left wing.

Despite this the visitors continued to attack, with Donaldson forcing another save from Cousins as he hit a powerful shot from 20 yards out.

Woodman brought on Holland for the four minutes of injury time and went with a back five, Bromley soaking up the pressure and then almost doubling their lead on the break.

The Ravens broke up field and Arthurs crossed from the right for Cheek who uncharacteristically blazed his chance over from eight yards out.

Bromley held out for the win though and moved back into the play off zone ahead of their trip to league Leaders Torquay Utd on Saturday.

Bromley: Cousins, Kizzi, Fox, Bush, Mitchell, Raymond (Trotter 67), Bingham, Arthurs, Bridge (Holland 90), Williamson (Alabi 61) Cheek.

Subs not used: Campbell, Coulson.

Hartlepool: Ravas, Sterry, Liddle, Featherstone, Ferguson (Elliott 73), Odusina, Donaldson, Holohan, Shelton (Molyneux 55), Saunders (Oates 61), Armstrong.

Subs Not Used: White, Francis-Angol.

HT 1-0 FT 1-0.

Goal; Arthurs 41mins.

Ref: James Durkin

Pictures supplied by Dave Budden.