BROMLEY maintained their position at the top of the Conference South table with a victory over Hayes & Yeading United at Hayes Lane on Saturday.
On a very poor pitch which had not recovered from an academy game on Wednesday, it was always going to be a difficult match, with the ball not running smoothly and bouncing off the uneven surface at awkward angles.
And so it proved.
Hayes & Yeading started the brighter of the two teams, but chances on goal were at a premium.
The first opportunity fell to the visitors after 20 minutes when Inih Effiong’s 25-yard dipping shot flew just over the bar.
Bromley’s first chance on goal produced a goal six minutes later.
A poor corner by Brendan Kiernan went through the legs of Frankie Merrifield at the near post before Rob Swaine pounced to punish the mistake by volleying home from the edge of the six-yard box.
Swaine nearly undid his good work moments later with a poor back-pass, but keeper Joe Welch saved the defender’s blushes by rushing from his area to deny Ryan Blake.
The hosts pressed for a second goal but were unable to trouble the visiting defence until a Bradley Goldberg free-kick was blocked before the ball ran loose to Kiernan, who fired straight at Jamie Young.
Hayes & Yeading wasted two good chances in the opening minutes of the second half as Dan Wishart headed wide and Huw Johnson fired over.
A low left-wing cross was deflected just the wrong side of the post by Effiong, which wrong-footed Welch.
Pierre Joseph-Dubois had a great chance to increase the lead with 18 minutes remaining when a Joe Anderson through ball put him clear.
However, Young was quickly off his line to dive at the forward’s feet and deny what looked a certain goal.
Welch kept his side’s narrow advantage intact when he brilliantly tipped over Luke Williams’ floated cross, and the Lillywhites keeper did well to save Effiong’s header moments later.
However, he was helpless to prevent Hayes’ equaliser on 77 minutes when Dean Inman’s header from Williams’ corner appeared to go into the net off Swaine.
Bromley instantly regained the lead from the restart as substitute Albert Jarrett possession on the halfway line, moved forward before sending a curling 35-yard shot towards goal.
Nic McDonnell got the faintest of touches to deceive the diving keeper and send the ball into the far corner of the net.
The closing minutes were played out in a ferocious rain storm and Welch did well to tip over Williams’ effort.
Wishart saw his powerful effort rebound off the outside of the upright, as Bromley held on for their 19th league victory of the season.
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Bromley: Welch, Pooley, Anderson, Waldren, Swaine, Holland, Joseph-Dubois, Nicholls (Buchanan 73), May (McDonnell 73), Goldberg, Kiernan (Jarrett 60). Subs not used: Parmenter, Reid. Att: 1,066.