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Bromley 1-0 Chelmsford City
11:26am Monday 27th February 2012 in Bromley
BROMLEY continued their recent revival at Hayes Lane on Saturday with a hard-fought victory over Chelmsford City to extend their unbeaten run to five games.
More importantly, it was their first league victory at Hayes Lane since August 27.
In an even game, both sides looked capable of winning and there never looked likely to be a repeat of the 6-1 hiding Bromley suffered at Melbourne Park earlier in the season.
The visitors, who were unbeaten on their league travels since March 2011, were the first to attack and Bromley keeper Joe Welch did well to grasp Kezie Ibe’s downward header at the far post. At the other end, Albert Jarrett stung visiting keeper Stuart Searle’s hands with a low sixth minute drive from the edge of the area.
Danny Waldren’s free-kick was saved by Searle under pressure from Hakeem Araba and Anthony Thomas before Searle denied Araba with a fine stop after Thomas had put the Bromley striker through on goal with a delicate pass.
The Chelmsford keeper came to his side’s rescue again in the 22nd minute when he saved Waldren’s volley after Jarrett’s speed along the flank had taken him past full-back Ben Nunn before he delivered the cross.
It did look as though Bromley might pay dearly for these missed chances, as the visitors responded strongly towards the latter part of the half.
Aiden Palmer’s free-kick, following Marlon Patterson’s foul on Alex Osborn, dropped agonisingly just the wrong side of the bar.
Ricky Modeste just failed to get a touch to a penetrating right wing cross at the far post before Ibe shot into the side-netting after being forced wide by Moses Swaibu in the 42nd minute.
The second half was a tense affair with chances at a premium at both ends of the pitch.
But the all important goal arrived in the 63rd minute when Pierre Joseph-Dubois rolled a pass into the path of Araba.
Araba evaded a challenge from Mark Haines and kept his cool to slot home past the advancing Searle for his 14th goal of the season.
Bromley had what looked like a legitimate penalty appeal turned down in the 76th minute after Araba looked to have his legs taken from underneath him, but the referee booked the Lillywhites striker for diving.
Chelmsford briefly threatened in the closing stages but could not get past a determined Bromley rearguard, most of their efforts being off target or blocked before any danger appeared.
Indeed, with two minutes remaining, substitute Michael Malcolm was unlucky not to put the result beyond doubt as his shot was blocked following an interchange of passing between a number of Bromley players.
Second in the table going into the match, Chelmsford City forced two corners in stoppage time but the Bromley defence held firm to record a well deserved victory.
Next up on Saturday is a derby at another of the play-off hopefuls, Welling United (3pm).
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Bromley: Welch, Henriques, Patterson, Fuseini, Swaibu, Harwood, Joseph-Dubois (Medley 86), Waldren, Araba, Thomas (Malcolm 61), Jarrett. Subs not used: Jones, Ibrahima, Williams. Att: 636.