Discover more from From Bromley with love
Bromley 1-1 Notts County
The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
Bromley have only lost nine league games all season. It’s the fourth lowest in the National League this season. Sometimes you have to wonder if we should give a bit more credit where it’s due to Andy Woodman’s side.
Although the draw with Notts County represented the thirteenth draw of Bromley’s season, it was yet another game where Bromley avoided taking the L.
The volume of draws may well represent the fine margins that see Bromley either inside or outside the play-offs at the end of the season, but there should be no shame that two of those draws have come against Notts County.
With that said, Saturday's 1-1 draw at Hayes Lane was as good a National League game as I’ve seen all season and wouldn’t have been out of place at a higher level of football.
As ever, I reflect on The Good, The Bad and The Ugly from Bromley’s 1-1 home draw against Notts County.
Have a read and let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
The Line-up vs Notts County
Andy Woodman said as much in the post-match interview but it bears repeating here. When you play a side as good as Notts County you can't just let them dictate the game, you have to find a way to disrupt them.
The first 45 minutes were probably the best I’ve seen Bromley play this season, relative to their opposition. The easiest thing to do would have been to sit deep and stay compact from the jump but Bromley did the exact opposite. They got out of the blocks quickly and didn’t allow Notts County to settle or get into any pattern of play.
Packing the midfield with Arthurs, Vennings, and Stirk proved a masterstroke and with Marriott and Whitely pressing Notts’ back three, Matty Palmer found it hard to instigate any forward momentum from his deep-lying position and all their other forward-thinking players were largely speaking anonymous.
However, that level of high-intensity play requires a goal or two to ensure there is a buffer when the team naturally tires and the tide turns.
Credit where it’s due, Bromley got one and arguably should have had two, maybe even three (more on that later). The Ravens came to regret that when Notts County predictably got control of the game in the second half.
By now it should be clear that Bromley have a very good blueprint for games against teams they aren’t expected to beat. We witnessed that blueprint in full flow once again.
It’s why I was always confident that they would take points off one or both of Notts County and Wrexham.
Away from the overall team performance, there was one individual performance I want to draw special attention to.
Whisper it quietly but Adam Marriott has 10 goals from 15 starts this season. It has been an injury-hit campaign for the front man but arguably he has delivered on what he was brought into the club to do.
Without Cheek, Marriott has recently stepped into the breach to lead the line and help link play. He isn’t a big striker but he has done an admiral job in recent games.
Not only did he do that against Notts County, he also showed great strength of character to miss a penalty and then take and dispatch the second one later in the game.
With 11 games to go, Andy Woodman must be tempted to play Cheek and Marriott together and gamble that his two goalscorers will do the business over the remainder of the season. Certainly, Marriott has come into form at the right time and, well, Michael Cheek needs no explanation.
In the stands, the atmosphere was good, and those who rightly felt aggrieved by the Wrexham ticketing decision certainly made their voices heard. As I mentioned on Twitter earlier in the week, social media protest is often just noise. If you really feel aggrieved then you should make your voices heard live and in the flesh. Kudos to those that did.
They didn’t just do that however, they also got behind the team from minute one. And that, along with the 600+ Notts County fans, made for an atmosphere that felt like a cup game.
BUT we must also be honest with ourselves, Bromley fans don’t often make that much noise. Which begs the question: Was this a perfect storm of Palace and Charlton being away and Bromley playing a big club at home? (More on that in a minute).
I spoke with Andy post match to get his reflections on the game - have a listen to the recording below before you move on
I might catch some stick for this but, as good as the atmosphere was, I have some major issues that we need to be honest about.
Given attempts to claim the car park end as a home end, in view of the decision to give it to Wrexham’s travelling support in two weeks, I’m perplexed by the notion that lots of noise emanates from there. That’s certainly the case for big games like Notts County, but try Maidenhead United when most of the London clubs are at home. It’s like a school library. None of that is to absolve the club and their shoddy PR and decision-making, but we need to be honest with ourselves as fans.
The defiant stand with banners (albeit removed - censorship be damned) and songs about standing our ground was fine, I’m in support of that. But let’s now keep the same energy. Let’s have that noise and presence for every game and make it clear that is actually a home end, not just when Notts County show up.
However, and here’s the conundrum, the presence at that end when Bromley aren’t kicking that way is usually full of teenagers and half-cut adults who seem more focused on c*nting off away fans. Is this the home end of which you speak? Is this what we are promoting as ours?
I have been informed that there were some missiles thrown in the ground from the Bromley end and that there were several youths who attended the game who aren’t regulars at all. Allegedly some arrests were made after the game.
Maybe this is what the club is worried about with Wrexham on the horizon in a few weeks’ time? Maybe this was always going to be the downside of the £97 season ticket offer?
The facts are simple. Bromley’s fanbase has grown exponentially in the last 5-10 years, but one thing has remained true in the years I’ve been going. If Bromley are doing well and Palace/Charlton/Millwall are not at home, our crowds swell and inevitably the Johnny-come-latelys bring a jolly-up attitude to proceedings.
We saw the worst of those excesses on Saturday and I put it to those who want the car park end to be our home end: What are you planning to do about it?
At the moment, you run the risk of the under-18 moody turn-out crew representing the ‘home end’. But, if you don’t want that to be the case, maybe expound the same righteous energy you’ve shown at the club’s off-field missteps to the troublemakers in your midst.
I said what I said.
It’s so easy to write an Ugly about the officiating performance because they are often so poor at National League level, but I’m going to need an explanation for what unfolded in the first half.
Was the foul on Corey Whitely for the second penalty really a penalty? In the press box behind me, Notts County media were convinced that Tiernan Brooks got to the ball first. I tend to agree.
I’m willing to give the referee the benefit of the doubt for that one. He was behind play and perhaps from his vantage point he just assumed Whitely was taken out. Why, though, did he not receive any help from his assistant referee who should have had a clear view?
That decision was further compounded by the officiating of an incident toward the end of the first half. Ryan Stirk did well to dispossess a lackadaisical Brooks before the goalkeeper then brought down Stirk.
From my vantage point in the press section, miles away, it looked touch and go whether it was in the penalty area. The one thing I knew for certain however was that it was a yellow card. Brooks had already been booked and should have been sent off.
I need answers as to why the yellow card was not shown. For those with referee qualifications and who know the rules of the game, why did he escape a second yellow? All I can conclude is that refereeing incompetence is the answer.
Anywho, I later saw the replays for the offence. I was shocked to see that it was a yard or more inside the box. From my lofty vantage point, I knew it was close. But at pitch level, it was clearly inside the area. How did the referee’s assistant, the nearest person to the incident on the pitch, not see it?
It all beggars belief. How does any team mitigate the fact that they are likely to fall foul to at least one horrendous decision per game? Surely your only hope is that it isn’t game-changing.
If Bromley get that third penalty and Brooks gets sent off, do Bromley win the game? Who knows. But they certainly would have been in the ascendancy.
Get at me in the comments below.
Reice Charles-Cook (8)
Kellen Fisher (7)
Callum Reynolds (8)
Omar Sowunmi (8)
Besart Topalloj (8)
Harry Forster (8)
Ryan Stirk (8)
Jude Arthurs (8)
James Vennings (7)
Corey Whitely (9)
Adam Mariott (7)
Louis Dennis for Adam Marriott 64 (7)
Billy Bingham for Harry Forster 72 (6)
For those who are interested, I have also included my brief interview with Notts County manager Luke Williams - always worth seeing how the opposition viewed a match as well
Thanks for taking the time to read the match synopsis above.
Please note all photographs in this article are by Martin Greig - please follow him on Twitter here
All articles are edited by Peter Etherington you can link to him here
If you havent as yet make sure you read the other articles in the archive.
If you’d like to show an appreciation for the work that goes into this newsletter you can buy me a coffee through the link below.
You can also find Machel St Patrick Hewitt on Twitter - here
Most importantly of all subscribe to the newsletter to ensure you get these updates direct to your inbox.
Thanks for reading From Bromley with love! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.