Bromley heading in the right direction
Bromley heading in the right direction

Fourteen games into the National League season and Bromley sit in fourth place just four points of the leaders with a game in hand.

It’s been an impressive start to Andy Woodman’s first full season in charge, the former Crystal Palace goalkeeper and coach took over the manager’s job at the end of March 2021 and after steering the team into the play offs last season, he has carried on that good form into this one. 

After a delayed start to the season due to Covid protocols The Ravens lost their first league match away at Dagenham & Redbridge, but they soon picked themselves up with a 3-0 Bank Holiday win at home to Eastleigh. A last gasp equaliser at Chesterfield secured a 2-2 draw at the start of September before a 3-2 home defeat to Boreham Wood saw Woodman make changes to the shape and the squad. 

What followed was a superb run of six league wins that took Bromley up to the play off spots within touching distance of the lead and at the time of writing in mid-November The Ravens are yet to lose another National League game, picking up draws away at pre-season favourites Notts County & Stockport County and beating Grimsby Town 3-1 at home. The only loss has come in the FA Cup falling 3-0 away at League One Rotherham United in the first round having knocked out Hungerford Town 2-1 in the fourth qualifying round. 

The nature of the draws away at former league sides has shown the character and resilience of this Bromley squad, soaking up lots of pressure, never giving in and scoring late goals. The defensive unit of Omar Sowunmi, Byron Webster and Chris Bush has looked very solid, backed up by an excellent keeper in Mark Cousins. Academy products Jude Arthurs and Marcus Sablier have added an extra zip to the midfield experience of Liam Trotter and Billy Bingham, with Corey Whitely and Luke Coulson are doing a great job as wing backs.        

Michael Cheek has already notched 10 league goals so far this campaign and looks set to record another impressive tally, top scoring for the club is his two previous seasons at Hayes Lane with an impressive track record wherever he has been in the National League and he has formed a good partnership with James Alabi. 

Not surprisingly, given the job he had done so far, there was some speculation about Woodman being offered the Hartlepool United job last week, but fortunately for Bromley fans this seems to have been quashed and he has remained at Hayes Lane.   

Going into Christmas, Bromley have three home games against sides in the bottom half of the table in Kings Lynn, Yeovil Town and Wealdstone, as well as tough trips to Wrexham and Altrincham. They will also start their FA Trophy campaign on the 18th December, although this may not be a priority given the possible big prize of Football League status at the end of the season, which has always been the stated aim of club owner Robin Stanton-Gleaves. There has been a significant amount of work done to the ground to bring it up to Football League standard, which is still ongoing and so far this season it’s being matched on the pitch. 

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