BROMLEY eased their way to victory over a very youthful Gillingham side in Tuesday evening’s second round Kent Cup tie at Hayes Lane.
The visitors had the better of the opening exchanges and might have gone ahead in the sixth minute.
Keeper George Howard’s clearance fell short to Moses Swaibu before Bradley Dack dispossessed the centre half to square a pass to Jake Hessenthaler, who unleashed a 20-yard drive which Howard did well to tip around the post.
Howard again came to Bromley’s rescue when the Lillywhites failed to clear Jack Payne’s cross and the keeper blocked Kane Haysman’s shot on the turn.
Rather against the run of play the home side opened the scoring on 24 minutes when Danny Waldren’s 25-yard free-kick was only parried by Gillingham keeper Darren Hawkes.
Harry Harding reacted quickly by seizing on the loose ball to send a chipped centre to the far post, where Aaron Rhule looped a header back across the goal and into the far corner of the net.
After Josh Hare had missed a good opportunity to level the scores, Gillingham equalised from the penalty spot in the 41st minute when Howard rashly raced from his goal to up end Haysman on the byline. Jack Evans duly thumped the resultant spot kick high into the net for 1-1.
Gillingham might have taken the lead early in the second period, but Jerrome Sobers did well to block substitute George Humber’s first-time shot and Howard was quickly down to deny Evans at the foot of the post.
However, Bromley wrapped the game up in a bizarre four minute period just after the hour mark.
Firstly Mike Jones split the defence with a precision pass to Michael Malcolm, who swept a delightful cross into the path of substitute Pierre Joseph-Dubois and first-time shot beat Hawkes to put Bromley in front on 62 minutes.
Straight from the restart Bromley went on the attack and Harding was pulled back by Tom Brunt in the area, but Jones hit the upright with his spot kick.
Then on 66 minutes, Bromley were awarded a second penalty, this time Harding stepped up to convert after Rhule had been brought down by recent signing from Maidenhead United, Devant McKain.
Bromley comfortably played out the remainder of the game with Malcolm and Harding both having shots tipped over by Hawkes and the keeper saving Sanchez Ming’s effort near the end.
Howard tipped over Dack’s 35-yard volley, while Humber shot wide when well placed at the other end.
Bromley now travel to Tonbridge Angels in the next round on a date to be arranged.
The Lillywhites are back in action at Hayes Lane on Saturday when they host Boreham Wood in the FA Trophy.
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Bromley: Howard, Ming, Patterson (Campbell 76), Harding, Swaibu, Sobers, Waldren (Fuseini 67), Jones, Chaaban (Joseph-Dubois 53), Malcolm, Rhule. Subs not used: Harwood, Ogeah. Att: 117.