Bromley’s indifferent start to the season continued on Tuesday night as they succumbed to a 1-0 defeat at Eastleigh, writes Machel St Patrick Hewitt.

In truth despite a single goal margin Bromley failed to get a shot on target over the course of the 90 minutes and defeat was no more than they deserved.

Eastleigh have represented something of a bogey team over the last five years for Bromley, having failed to beat them in the last 10 games the sides have played and Tuesday proved no different.

In response to Saturday’s frustrating home draw against Harrogate Town and another poorly conceded goal, Neil Smith opted to drop Dan Johnson and move Marc-Anthony Okoye to left back in a bid to eliminate the repetitive nature of goals conceded.

Alas despite an admirable display by the big centre-back the solitary goal of the game again came from loose play down Bromley’s left.

In the 5th minute of the game an excellent slide rule ball from Ben Williamson allowed Chris Zebroski to run inside Okoye and cross for an unmarked Mark Yeates to head Eastleigh into the lead.

Although Bromley fell behind to an early goal they did slowly work their way back into the game and were by no means second best in the first half. In fact the few opportunities that were created in the remainder of a scrappy half fell Bromley’s way albeit none of them forced Graham Stack to make a meaningful save.

The best Bromley move of the half saw Omar Bugiel and Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe exchange a fine one-two but just as Bugiel was about to release the trigger a fine sliding tackle from Alex Wynter denied him.

If the first half represented an even game separated by a softly conceded goal the second was dominated by Eastleigh as Bromley failed to fashion any significant effort at goal.

Indeed Bromley had another fine display from custodian David Gregory to thank for keeping the scoreline down.

Bromley were served warning of Eastleigh’ attacking intentions seven minutes after the restart. Williamson did well to control Zebroski’s cross but his shot on the turn skipped wide of Gregory’s far post.

Minutes later Paul McCallum was played through on goal by Williamson but his acrobatic volley was tipped over the crossbar by Gregory. From the resultant corner an unmarked McCallum headed wide of the goal when he perhaps should have done better.

With Eastleigh bossing the game, Gregory pulled off a brilliant save to deny Zebroski as he parried away the frontman’s volley from Williamson’s cross.

Gregory had time for one more fine save as good anticipation saw him run off his line to block a Williamson effort as the frontman nipped ahead of Goodman to get off a strike at goal.

By this stage of the game Bromley had resorted to putting captain Jack Holland upfront in an effort to try and win more balls and spark something going forward. However despite an aerial bombardment towards Bugiel and Holland the Ravens failed to get purchase out of the Eastleigh defence.

Only as the game trickled into injury time did Bromley truly throw caution to the wind and they nearly benefitted from this when George Porter was able to run unto a long ball before crossing for Holland. However the latter could only succeed in scuffing his effort well wide of the goal.

Despite the narrow nature of the defeat there will undoubtedly continue to be many questions running through Neil Smith’s head as to how to get the best out of his side. Whilst no one can question his side’s attitude and application the worry continues to be the balance and lack of goal threat in the side.

Whether Bromley choose to make further signings to address this or trust the work on the training ground, with unbeaten Gateshead next up at Hayes Lane on Saturday Neil Smith will be hoping to have a remedy in place by then.

Eastleigh (4-4-2): Stack; Hare, Reda Johnson, Wynter, Green; Zebroski, Gobern, Miley, Yeates (Wood 90+3); McCallum, Williamson (Constable 82) Subs not used: Hollands, Flitney, Dennett

Bromley (4-4-2): Gregory; Adebyao-Rowling, Holland, Roger Johnson, Okoye; Porter, Sutherland, Raymond, Meekums (Goodman 59); Bugiel, Ogedi-Uzokwe (Taylor 75) Subs not used: Huxter (GK), Dan Johnson, Enver

Referee: Mr Sam Allison

Attendance: 1478