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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

04 March 2023 Venue Hayes Lane Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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Match Reports

Bromley 1-1 Notts

Langstaff rescues last-minute point

4 March 2023

Macaulay Langstaff scored deep into second-half stoppage time to earn us a point at Hayes Lane.

We were on the brink of defeat after a controversial first-half penalty threatened to consign us to consecutive defeats.

Having already saved a Marriott spotkick, debutant Tiernan Brooks was adjudged to have committed a foul despite appearing to cleanly take the ball after making a big save one-on-one.

The referee nevertheless pointed to the spot and there was nothing the youngster could do to stop it hitting the back of the net second time around.

We applied huge pressure on our hosts' defence after the break and thoroughly deserved our equaliser when it eventually came.

With Aden Baldwin serving the first of a two-match suspension and Sam Slocombe sustaining an injury in training, Luke Williams was forced to shuffle his pack following the harsh defeat at home to Dagenham.

Slocombe’s absence presented academy graduate Brooks, fresh from loan spells at Hednesford Town and Boston United, to make his Notts debut.

Williams opted for a back four to shield the 20-year-old stopper, with Adam Chicksen and Geraldo Bajrami playing either side of central pairing Kyle Cameron and Connell Rawlinson.

Ahead of them, a midfield three of Matt Palmer, Ruben Rodrigues and Sam Austin had the task of supporting Jodi Jones, Aaron Nemane and Langstaff in attack.

We had the nightmare start as, inside eight minutes, Corey Whitely got round the back of Bajrami and was adjudged to have been pulled back by the defender in the area.

All eyes were on debutant Brooks who, up against an experienced campaigner in Marriott, did brilliantly to extend his legs and keep the shot out of the centre of his net.

Our response came from Jones, who did well to work a cross from the left only for no telling touch to come in the middle.

Five minutes later came a hugely controversial moment as the hosts were awarded a second penalty. Brooks made an excellent save one-on-one and the forward’s momentum saw him tumble over the outstretched keeper. The referee pointed to the spot, however, and Marriott made no mistake the second time – sending the ball past Brooks, who had seen yellow after receiving treatment.

Opposition goalkeeper Reice Charles-Cook was in the spotlight 10 minutes later when he made a tremendous one-handed save to keep Austin’s well-struck effort out.

Then, four minutes later, a defender made a vital last-ditch clearance to prevent a tap-in for Langstaff following Chicksen’s cross.

Another big moment involving Brooks was to follow, though, and this time the luck was on his side. After being dispossessed in his own area, the keeper fouled the onrushing attacker on the edge of the box. After consulting his assistant, the referee didn’t produce a second yellow.

The action continued apace and we came agonisingly close to an equaliser on 40 minutes when Nemane did brilliantly to guide a cross back into the middle for Langstaff, who was unmarked six yards out. There was just too much height on the ball, though, and the forward couldn’t get enough purchase on his header to beat the keeper.

The final first-half incident of note saw Bajrami booked for a mistimed challenge, and he was replaced by Connor Lemonheigh-Evans at half-time.

And the substitute was straight into the action, getting on the end of Austin’s excellent dinked cross but being unable to head the ball home at the back post.

Moments later, Lemonheigh-Evans rode a challenge brilliantly as he burst through midfield and offloaded to Rodrigues, whose shot was tipped over by Charles-Cook.

And the keeper was in action again almost straightaway, doing superbly to hold on to Nemane’s low cross after he had been played in round the back.

Bromley were unable to live with us and should have lost their lead on 54 minutes when Nemane did brilliantly to check inside on the byline before rolling the ball into the box for Lemonheigh-Evans, who could only drag his shot wide despite looking certain to score.

The hosts then took the opportunity to change their shape, halting our flow and creating an opening for Harry Forster, who cut in from the left but couldn’t keep his shot down.

Our second change followed, John Bostock replacing Austin, and we continued to dominate the play with Chicksen seeing a deflected effort go a couple of yards wide of the post.

But time was ticking and Bromley reminded us of their own threat twice in quick succession as substitute Louis Dennis first drew a good save from Brooks before firing the ball wide of the near post after being released from a quick free-kick.

In the final minute of normal time, Omar Sowunmi sent a Jones cross narrowly over his own crossbar to add to our frustrations.

But, with two of five added minutes remaining, Rodrigues produced an outstanding through ball for Langstaff who took it in his stride superbly and found the finish despite Charles-Cook’s best efforts.

We had two minutes to press for a winner, during which Langstaff had a big penalty appeal waved away.

And in the end we had to settle for a point.

STARTING XI: Brooks; Chicksen, Cameron, Rawlinson, Bajrami (Lemonheigh-Evans; Palmer, Rodrigues, Austin (Bostock 70’); Jones, Nemane, Langstaff

UNUSED SUBS: Mair, Taylor, O’Brien

BOOKINGS: Brooks 19’, Bajrami 45’, Palmer 90'

ATTENDANCE: 3,417 (632)

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