Hartlepool United v Bromley preview
Hartlepool United v Bromley preview

After last Saturday’s dramatic final day of the season, Bromley now prepare for their first National League promotion play off game when they travel up to Victoria Park to take on Hartlepool Utd on Sunday afternoon.

The Ravens go in to the game on a fine run of form winning eight, drawing four and losing only one of their games since manager Andy Woodman took over the side at the end of March.

Last weekend Bromley defeated Notts County 1-0 at Hayes Lane, thanks to a second half goal from Ben Williamson. The win and Wrexham only drawing at Dagenham saw The Ravens grab the final play off place for promotion to the Football League.

The potential path to the final will see Bromley play all of their matches away from Hayes Lane with Stockport County awaiting the winners of this tie the following weekend and the final taking place at Bristol City’s Ashton Gate stadium on 20th June.

Hartlepool won 4-0 at home to Weymouth last Saturday, the victory securing a fourth placed finish for The Pools. Ryan Johnson, Rhys Oates, Mark Shelton and Gavan Holohan scoring the goals for Dave Challinor’s team. Finishing on 76 points from their 42 league matches, seven points ahead of Bromley.

In the two league meetings between the teams this season there has only been one goal, with a 0-0 draw at Victoria Park in October and Bromley winning 1-0 at Hayes Lane on Mayday courtesy of a goal from Jude Arthurs.

This match looks set to be equally as tight with so much to play for and the prospect of extra time and penalties.

Bromley are still without the injured trio of Byron Webster, Courtney Duffus and Taylor Maloney, while Luke Coulson, Kory Roberts and Charlie Wakefield haven’t featured in some time and academy star Liam Vincent has just been signed by Portsmouth.

Home advantage is even more amplified with matches currently only open to a limited number of around 1,700 home fans and no away support, but Woodman’s team have a superb away record and aren’t afraid of doing things the hard way and in four previous visits to Hartlepool, Bromley have won two, lost one and drawn one.

The Ravens previous play off experience is a mixed one, winning promotion from Ryman League in 2005 when defeating Horsham 3-1 in the final, followed by another win in 2007 over Billericay on penalties to move into Conference South, but most recently they lost over two legs to Ebbsfleet Utd to in 2014 in the NL South semi final.

Bromley supporters will have to prepare themselves for a nervy afternoon in front of the TV with the winner takes all game live on BT Sport and also being shown in the bars at Hayes Lane, kick off 2:30pm.

Picture supplied by Dave Budden.

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