Bromley 2 Dorking Wanderers 0
Vanarama National League
February 18th 2023
Dorking's run without a league win extended to five matches on Saturday afternoon after play-off chasing Bromley ran out comfortable winners at Hayes Lane.
The home side took the lead several minutes before half-time as Omar Sowunmi diverted a Louis Dennis cross home at the near post, Charley Kendall doubling the advantage and wrapping up the three points for The Ravens with a composed finish midway through the second half.
Marc White handed a debut to new signing Tony Craig and also brought Isaac Philpot and Cal Kennedy into defence as Wanderers again went with four at the back, the change of personal influenced by the absence of Ed Harris, Joe Cook and Barry Fuller, all three currently recovering from knocks. James McShane (suspension) and Jason Prior (cup-tied) both returned after missing out last weekend at Aldershot, and the other change to the starting line up from that game saw Matt Briggs make his first start since returning from long term injury lay off.
Starting brightly, the hosts immediately threatened down the attacking left, creating overloads and driving balls into the box, Jude Arthurs flashing one across goal before Lincoln was forced into action with less than five minutes on the clock, producing a top reaction save to deny Kendall towards the far post as he struck Corey Whitely's delivery first time.
Straight up the other end, Wanderers produced their best chance of the half; Josh Taylor's through ball sending Briggs away down the right, drifting into the box the wing-back slammed a strike into the side-netting, deceiving some Wanderers supporters around the ground believing the ball had hit the back of the net. The returning Briggs was at the heart of the limited attacking endeavours Wanderers would create in the opening forty-five, and not long after that missed chance he latched onto Francomb's superb diagonal ball and looked for Prior at the near post, Bromley keeper Reice Charles-Cook meeting it but fumbling the ball, his defence quick to clear the danger.
At the midway point of the half, despite the pace of the game dropping off, the home side re-asserted their control of the contest. Ryan Stirk, making his debut after signing on loan from Birmingham City earlier in the week, was astute in anchoring a fluid midfield, with the dynamic movement of Jude Arthurs and Corey Whitley often instigating chances for the wide and forward players. The Wanderers right back area was continuing to be targeted; good interplay down that side proceeded Louis Dennis playing in striker Michael Cheek, his point blank effort well saved by Lincoln, Arthurs strike at the back post then well intercepted by Gallagher.
Dennis and Whiteley would both go close with efforts in and around the box as Bromley ramped up the pressure leading towards half-time, and Andy Woodman's side would get reward several minutes before the break. Defender Omar Sowunmi got up from the back to score against Wanderers for the second time this term after diverting Dennis' cross over the line arriving in at the near post.
Briggs did find Prior with a cross from the right with the very last action of the first half, the linesman's flag raised for offside just after the Wanderers striker nodded the ball wide.
Half-Time: Bromley 1 Dorking Wanderers 0
The hosts began the second half in similarly bright fashion to how they started the first, Callum Reynolds header back across goal somehow scrambled clear in front of the goal line.
Marc White made a double switch around the hour introducing Bobby-Joe Taylor and Jimmy Muitt for Calum Kennedy and Matt Briggs, but Bromley remained in command of the contest, Craig cutting out a couple of key interceptions, but midway through the half the hosts did mange to double their advantage. Whiteley gathered the ball in midfield and slid a measured through ball into the path of Kendall, the on-loan Lincoln City attacking midfielder coming in from the left flank and clinically firing the ball between Lincoln and the post as he closed in one-on-one.
Wanderers were starting to struggle maintaining shape as Bromley continued to apply pressure after the goal; Whiteley going close with an effort from range just marginally clearing the bar, Besart Topalloj and substitute Mitchel Bergkamp both dispatching dangerous deliveries from the left before Kendall got on the end of a Kellan Fisher cross from the opposite flank, his firm header caught by Lincoln.
Ryan Seager had come on for Jason Prior for the final part of the game, and Gallagher was unlucky not to find the substitute with a through ball into the closing minutes, Charles-Cook getting out from goal and just beating the striker to the ball. Bromley's own late substitutes Adam Marriott and Harry Forster would combine in stoppage time to bring Lincoln into action with a save at close range, but the score would ultimately remain 2-0.
The defeat leaves Wanderers in the same position they were in ahead of kick off, a point and a place above the relegation zone, still without a league point in 2023. The next opportunity to get those first points on the board and stop the rot comes this Tuesday night, as Torquay United, one of the two sides a point behind Wanderers, visit Meadowbank for a 19:45 kick off.
Bromley (4-1-4-1): 13 Reice Charles-Cook, 35 Kellan Fisher, 2 Callum Reynolds, 6 Omar Sowunmi, 23 Besart Topalloj; 15 Ryan Stirk; 12 Charley Kendall (19 Harry Forster 85'), 18 Corey Whitely, 20 Jude Arthurs, 11 Louis Dennis (14 Mitchel Bergkamp 66'); 9 Michael Cheek (10 Adam Marriott 71')
Unused Subs: 3 Cameron Green, 21 Jamie Vennings
Goals: Sowunmi 38', Kendall 67'
No Yellow Cards
Dorking Wanderers (4-5-1): 1 Dan Lincoln, 2 Isaac Philpot, 20 Dan Gallagher, 27 Tony Craig, 12 Calum Kennedy (3 Bobby-Joe Taylor 57'); 8 Matt Briggs (7 Jimmy Muitt 57'), 37 George Francomb, 11 James McShane (c), 17 Josh Taylor, 30 Seb Bowerman; 19 Jason Prior (9 Ryan Seager 68')
Unused Subs: 18 Luke Moore, 23 Jack Jebb
No Yellow Cards
Referee: Matthew Russell
Attendance: 2,528 (184 Wanderers Supporters)
Man Of The Match: Omar Sowunmi (Official Home Selection)