Aldershot 3 – 2 Bromley

A stunning James Rowe free kick five minutes from time saw Aldershot turn around a half-time deficit that leaves Bromley winless on the road and entrenched in the bottom half of the National League table.

Rowe’s free kick was a set piece good enough to win any game, as he curled his effort over the wall and into David Gregory’s top left hand corner to seal the win for Aldershot.

Following the disappointing midweek defeat at home to Barnet, Ravens manager Neil Smith made two changes as Reece Meekums and Jordan Higgs replaced Tobi Adebayo-Rowling and Frankie Sutherland respectively.

With Omar Bugiel still away on international duty for Lebanon, Bromley lined up in a 4-4-1-1 formation with John Goddard in the hole behind Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe as the lone striker.

Despite the changes it was the Shots who made all the running in the early stages of the first half. Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong tested Gregory from distance as early as the fourth minute of the game with the Bromley custodian shovelling the winger’s effort behind for a corner.

Scott Rendell then served notice of his intentions when he headed against the post from a Jake Gallagher cross. However Bromley did not heed the warning and promptly fell behind when an umarked Rendell made no mistake with a header at the far post from a Lewis Kinsella cross.

What should have signalled Aldershot going on to dominate the rest of the half instead saw Bromley wake from their slumber as the Ravens took the game by the scruff of the neck in a passage of play that should have seen them put the game to bed.

George Porter was the first to go close in the 20th minute when his cross was inches away from being converted by Ogedi-Uzokwe.

Goddard and Higgs then had goalbound shots charged down as they seized on a fluffled clearance by Josh Lelan.

With Aldershot noticeably panicking and wide open at the back, Higgs saw his toe-poke cleared off the line after he reacted first to Marc-Anthony Okoye’s knock down.

Seemingly with every attack Bromley were asking serious questions, from their next one substitute Tobi Adebayo-Rowling saw his cross fall to an unmarked Porter inside the penalty area but the frontman’s strike was blocked by his own man with the goal gaping.

Bromley finally drew level on the half hour when another good run and cross from Adebayo-Rowling saw Ogedi-Uzokwe fire in after the cross had rebounded off the crossbar.

Higgs missed a good opportunity, shortly after the equaliser, when he shot inches wide of the post but Bromley were to deservedly take the lead going into half-time following a George Fowler own-goal.

In the second minute of added on time, Porter’s long throw was flicked on by Jake Goodman and Fowler could do nothing about it as the ball cannoned into his leg and into the net.

If Bromley were the better team in the first half the second witnessed a role reversal as a half time change of shape by Gary Waddock saw Aldershot dominate possession and turn the game around.

Opting for a back three and wing backs almost playing as wingers an offensive shift saw Bromley pinned back for the large majority of the second half unable to build any attacking momentum of worth.

Berkeley-Agyepong should have equalised a minute after the restart, played in by Gallagher the former Crystal Palace U23 player could only fire straight at Gregory when it seemed easier to score.

The Bromley defence spent much of the second half soaking up pressure and for the most part prevented Aldershot from having clear sight of goal, however the equaliser when it came was completely of Bromley’s own making.

Okoye attempted to control a long ball but in doing so slipped on the turf that slip was to prove costly as Dan Holman seized on the loose ball before curling beyond Gregory from the edge of the penalty area to level the game up.

Having had no attacking input in the half up to that point it proved hard for Bromley to change gear and in truth if there was to be a winner it always seemed more likely that it would be Aldershot to get it.

Rowe’s free kick ensured that came to pass as he curled home after Bromley conceded a needless foul just outside the penalty area.

In the six added minutes of injury time Bromley did belatedly create chances, Bobby Joe-Taylor had a goal ruled out for offside before Ogedi-Uzokwe saw his header from Adam Mekki’s cross tipped over the crossbar by George Legg.

Alas it was all too little too late for the Ravens as they succumbed to their fourth defeat of the season all by a one goal margin.

Things do not get any easier for Bromley as big-spending Salford City are up next, the Manchester side travel to Hayes Lane next Saturday. Neil Smith will have Omar Bugiel and Jack Holland back in contention for selection but will know that unless his side remove the propensity to give away soft goals that the odds will be heavily stacked against them.

Aldershot Town:  Legg; Gallagher, Lelan, Fowler, Kinsella; McDonnell (Booty 81), Howell (Smith 45), Rowe; Wanadio (Holman 60), Rendell, Berkeley-Agyepong

Subs not used: Cole

Bromley: Gregory; Okoye, Goodman, R.Johnson (Adebayo-Rowling 10), Wood; Porter, Higgs, Raymond, Meekums (Taylor 67); Godddard (Mekki 63); Ogedi-Uzokwe

Subs not used: D.Johnson, De Silva

Referee: Mr Christopher Pollard