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Match Reports

Notts 2-1 Bromley

Christmas period ends on a high

4 January 2020

Match Reports

Notts 2-1 Bromley

Christmas period ends on a high

4 January 2020

Wes Thomas became our league top scorer and Connell Rawlinson bagged his first goal for us in a dramatic 2-1 victory over third-place Bromley.

Meadow Lane was a cauldron of noise when Rawlinson's towering header restored a lead which had been cancelled out by Michael Cheek earlier in the second half.

The equaliser had been a bitter pill to swallow after Mitch Rose's missed penalty meant we had been unable to double up on Thomas' early opener, which took him to 10 goals for the season.

Aided by Chris Bush's late red card, we saw the game out to climb to fifth in the Vanarama National League.

Neal Ardley made two changes to the side that drew at Maidenhead on New Year's Day.

Dion Kelly-Evans was absent from the squad, making way for Richard Brindley, while Thomas took Kristian Dennis' place up top.

Pierce Bird, Tom Crawford, Zoumana Bakayogo and Nathan Tyson joined Dennis on the bench.

After the New Year's Day trip to Maidenhead ended goalless, an early strike was just what the doctor ordered.

And Thomas duly provided on four minutes after Sam Osborne led a pacey breakaway down the left before cutting the ball back for the forward to curl home his 10th goal of the season.

Bromley's response came from Cheek, whose effort from the edge of the area was diverted behind by Alex Lacey.

And the centre back was called into action at the subsequent corner, too, positioning himself well at the near post to block a volley from Bush, who had sloped into an unmarked position to meet the cross.

It was proving to be a lively start to the game - and it was about to get busier as Thomas was presented with a great chance to bag his second of the afternoon.

He did brilliantly to latch on to a ball over the top which sent him through one on one with visiting keeper Ryan Huddart. The man between the sticks produced an excellent save, sending the ball looping inches wide of the post.

The danger wasn't over there, though, as the subsequent corner resulted in us being awarded a penalty after Lacey was hauled down in the area. The referee didn't spot it but his assistant did, presenting Rose with an opportunity to double our lead.

Unfortunately, the midfielder struck the post and Enzio Boldewijn couldn't turn the ball home with a snapshot on the rebound.

We were nearly immediately punished when Bromley had the ball in the net after a long throw from the left sailed over everyone to the back stick, where Joe Kizzi looked to have headed the ball home on the line.

The assistant referee appeared to indicate that Kizzi hadn't got the vital touch in time, however, so a goal kick was awarded instead.

Bromley were certainly demonstrating the attacking threat which carried them into this game third in the Vanarama National League.

And they were denied a spectacular equaliser by Sam Slocombe on the half-hour mark, the keeper diving high to his left to push Billy Bingham's rocket away from his top corner.

However, we still looked threatening at the other end and, shortly after Bush received his first yellow for hauling down Thomas, we came close to our second goal when Osborne ran into space, cut on to his left foot and curled a low effort narrowly wide of the far post.

It was a case of battening down the hatches for the remaining minutes of the half, though, with Slocombe called into another excellent instinctive save to deny Ben Williamson after Sam Wood's lofted ball into the area caused major problems for our defence.

Two minutes were added on at the end of the half and nerves were jangling right up to the referee's whistle as, with the last action of the opening period, Kizzi rose above McCrory to meet a corner only to head the ball across goal and wide.

There were no changes at the break for either side but Bromley soon set about altering the scoreline in their favour as Luke Coulson swiveled to work space for a shot beyond the back post, only to drag his effort wide.

The visitors did have their equaliser on 50 minutes, however, as Cheek's excellent long-range half-volley was too good for Slocombe.

Bromley were looking the far livelier of the two teams after the break and had another effort on goal shortly afterwards, Bingham sending a shot well off target moments before a contentious incident occurred near our corner flag which had supporters in the Air-IT Kop appealing for Cheek's dismissal.

The goal-scorer had clattered Rawlinson with a poor challenge as the defender cleared the ball but the referee deemed a caution to be sufficient punishment.

Proceedings entered something of a lull thereafter and, after settling back into the game, we worked an excellent opportunity to regain the lead courtesy of a corner routine which saw Boldewijn drill the ball low into the middle for Kyle Wootton, who had escaped his marker. The forward didn't catch his shot right, though, toepoking the ball well wide.

Coulson then tried his luck at the other end, bending a left-footed shot a couple of yards wide of the far post.

But the next goal was to be ours - and this time a corner routine paid off!

It came from the left, where Boldewijn rolled the ball short to Doyle whose pinpoint cross found Rawlinson towering over everyone to head the ball home with aplomb.

Bromley were getting balls into our box as often as possible as they chased a second equaliser, but we were dealing with them well and Ardley added Bird's height with seven to play - Osborne made way. Thomas also left the field to a huge ovation, with Dennis on in his place.

And, try as they might, the visitors got no closer to restoring parity again as the minutes ticked by, with an acrobatic effort from substitute Reeco Hackett-Fairchild the best they could muster.

Their task was made even harder when Bush picked up his second caution of the afternoon for a late challenge on Wootton on the edge of our area, and four additional minutes were indicated as he made his way off the field for an early bath.

We saw the added time out as professionally as you'd like and picked up a huge three points, taking our tally over Christmas to 13 and extending our unbeaten run to seven league games. 

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