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Ebbsfleet ease through to play-off final despite Bromley defeat
Bromley’s promotion dream was ended on Saturday despite a 1-0 play-off semi-final second leg win over Ebbsfleet at Hayes Lane.
The only goal of the game came from Danny Waldren but it was far from enough with Fleet holding a comfortable 4-0 first leg advantage going into the game.
Bromley manager Mark Goldberg made four changes to the side which lost the first leg so convincingly, with Dean Pooley, Ali Fuseini, Jay May and Ashley Nicholls, who was sent off in the 4-0 loss, all missing out.
Replacing them were Adam Bailey-Dennis, Elliott Buchanan, Sam Higgins and Louis Dennis.
Fleet opposite Steve Brown, meanwhile, made only one switch, with Shane Huke replacing Osei Sankofa at the centre of defence.
Unlike the first leg, where a goal came in the opening minute, the match got off to an inconspicuous start with very little action for fans of either club to shout about.
Waldren had a header from a corner fly harmlessly over, while at the other end Anthony Cook floated a 20-yard free kick wide of the goal.
The game’s major talking points came in the space of two minutes.
Ebbsfleet’s Alex Osborn received possession on the right before cutting inside and delivering a low cross through the legs of a Bromley defender to be met by Ben May, sliding in at the far post to bundle the ball into the back of the net.
However, as Fleet fans were celebrating the goal which would have extinguished any faint hopes of a Bromley comeback, the referee blew his whistle and indicated it had gone in off Ben May’s hand and instead giving a free-kick to the hosts.
The set piece was worked out to Joe Anderson, who delivered a deep left-wing cross into the box.
It found Waldren and he brilliantly volleyed past Preston Edwards from 15-yards to make it 1-0.
The goal gave Bromley confidence and they began to dominate possession without being able to create many clear cut chances.
Anderson saw a 25-yard speculative effort fly wide and Sam Higgins also tried his luck from long range five minutes later as he unleashed a brilliant drive which a diving Edwards had to superbly turn behind.
The second half continued in the same vein as the first, although Ebbsfleet gradually began to see more possession as Bromley were forced to resort to long punts forward.
Waldren had a header from a corner fly over, while Daryl McMahon saw 20-yard shot fly just wide at the other end.
Bromley’s best chance to get a second came when a long pass downfield from Buchanan found substitute Jay May in the area, but his close-range volley was turned behind by an alert Edwards.
This proved to be the last goalmouth action of note, although both sides ended the game with ten men as Fleet’s Dean Rance was sent off for a needlessly rash tackle on Bradley Goldberg, with Bromley’s Jack Holland shown a second yellow for a trip on Cook.
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Bromley: Bromley: Welch, Holland, Anderson, Waldren, Swaine, Bailey-Dennis (J May 63), Dubois, Buchanan, Higgins, Goldberg, Dennis (Reid 75) Subs not used: Pooley, Kiernen, Fuseini.
Ebbsfleet: Edwards, Howe, Acheampong (Long 90), Huke, Palmer, Osborn (Sankofa 85), McMahon, Rance, Cook, B May, Bricknell (Thalassitis 71) Subs not used: Hall, Sessegnon. Att: 1,441.
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