Lillywhites lose further ground in title race after Havant setback

Jay May (above) had first half opportunities for the Lillywhites. Picture by Keith Gillard.

Jay May (above) had first half opportunities for the Lillywhites. Picture by Keith Gillard.

First published in Sport
Last updated

Bromley are now six points off leaders Eastleigh after Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at play-off rivals Havant & Waterlooville.

In what has become a familiar tale just recently, it was again missed chances which cost the Hayes Lane club dear, especially in the first half.

After a quiet opening, the home side had the first chance of the afternoon on 10 minutes as Nic Ciardini’s 25 yard effort flew narrowly over the bar.

Back came Bromley, Jay May’s header going just off target from Bradley Goldberg’s cross before Goldberg saw his chipped effort from a narrow angle graze the bar with May blasting the rebound wide.

May should have done better on 18 minutes when, with the goal at his mercy, he shot wide from another Goldberg cross.

Bromley were exerting good pressure on the home side and Devante McKain, following a flowing move, disappointingly crossed wide from the right.

Brendan Kiernan’s dangerous cross was plucked from the air by Benjamin Buchel and the home keeper was in action again moments later, diving at the feet of Goldberg.

Joe Anderson’s free-kick from distance missed everyone to go just wide of the upright, while Abistide Bassele headed over at the other end.

Bromley squandered yet another chance on 33 minutes.

Following a throw in, Pierre Joseph-Dubois and Kiernan combined well only for the latter to see his firmly struck shot blocked by a defender on the line for a corner, from which Jack Holland headed wide of a gaping goal.

The inevitable happened in first half stoppage time when the hosts scored what proved to be the winning goal.

A 60-yard free kick from deep in their own half brushed off the head of Rob Swaine into the path of Bassele and the AFC Bournemouth loanee made no mistake from the edge of the area past an exposed Joe Welch in the visiting goal.

Bromley virtually camped in Havant’s half in the second period, but lacked the guile to break down their defence, continually running up blind alleys or over hitting their passes.

Goldberg, Swaine and Kiernan all had shots blocked before May was denied by Buchel with a rare stop around the hour mark.

Louis Dennis headed over and Goldberg shot off target from a promising position, but with two minutes remaining there was controversy as the Lillywhites saw an equaliser ruled out.

McKain sent a pin-point cross over towards the back post where Dennis met it with a firm header which beat the keeper, only to hit the bar and bounce down seemingly over the line.

Players from both sides stopped, but the match official waved play on and Jake Newton was first to react to hack the ball clear.

This latest defeat all but ends Bromley’s outside chance of automatic promotion.

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Bromley: Welch, McKain, Anderson, Waldren (Buchanan 68), Swaine, Holland, Joseph-Dubois, Nicholls, May (Reid 76), Goldberg, Kiernan (Dennis 63). Subs not used: Bailey-Dennis, Fuseini. Att: 576.

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