By Jack McGraghan
Gateshead’s unbeaten start came to an end at Hayes Lane as a late goal from substitute Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe ensured three points went Bromley’s way.
Both sides saw chances to gain the lead pass by but it was Ogedi-Uzokwe who had the deciding touch as his 88th minute header bounced in off the underside of the bar.
Steve Watson made two alterations following Tuesday’s 1-1 draw at Boreham Wood, bringing in Jack Hunter and Steven Rigg in place of Mike Williamson and Tom White.
The game got off to a relatively cagey start on the slick 3G surface at Hayes Lane – a number of players suffering slips during the early adjustment period.
The first chance of the afternoon fell Gateshead’s way eight minutes in as the two men introduced to the starting line-up combined, with Rigg heading Hunter’s cross a few yards wide at the back post.
Despite the early scare, Bromley returned the favour and perhaps should have taken the lead after 16 minutes when Aynsley Pears sliced his goal kick straight to Omar Bugiel – but the ‘keeper recovered just in time to keep the striker’s chipped effort out.
The hosts looked the more comfortable of the two sides during the opening 45 minutes, with a few stray passes from the Heed needlessly turning possession over to their opponents on more than one occasion.
The Ravens opted to send crosses into the box from wide areas to create most of their opportunities in the first-half, but Robbie Tinkler was on hand to clear the danger on numerous occasions.
Cameron Salkeld almost found himself on the scoresheet via a stroke of good fortune midway through the first half when his cross looped over goalkeeper David Gregory and inches wide of the far post.
The Heed began the second half brightly and created a couple of half-opportunities on goal with Luke Armstrong seeing his near-post flick blocked, moments before substitute Connor Thomson fired over from a tight angle.
Affairs were anything but one-sided however, with Bromley captain Roger Johnson testing Pears’ reflexes with two back-post headers from close range – but the Heed stopper was equal to them.
Gateshead remained patient in their attempts to break the deadlock and Armstrong came close to doing so after getting on the end of a flowing move, but the angle proved too much and the striker could only head substitute Tom White’s cross into the side netting.
Meanwhile at the other end of the pitch, John Goddard came close to putting the hosts in front after the Heed failed to clear their lines but his 20-yard strike rolled just wide of the near post.
With the game hanging in the balance with just under 10 minutes to go, JJ O’Donnell saw an opportunity to put his side in the lead pass by as he scuffed Thomson’s deep cross into the arms of goalkeeper Gregory on his weaker side.
Heartbreakingly, Bromley took the lead under dramatic circumstances in the 88th minute when substitute Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe capitalised on Johnson’s flick on from a long-throw to head down off the underside of the bar – which the linesman judged to have crossed the line.
Bromley (3-4-1-2): Gregory; Adebayo-Rowling (Meekums, 79’), Sutherland, R. Johnson (c), Raymond, Higgs, Okoye, Goodman, Porter, Goddard (D. Johnson, 90+1’), Bugiel (Ogedi-Uzokwe, 68’).
Subs not used: Huxter, Taylor.
Goals: Ogdei-Uzokwe (88’)
Bookings: Bugiel (58’), Porter (67’)
Gateshead (3-4-3): Pears; Tinkler (c), Kerr, Mellish; Salkeld (Thomson, 45’), Hunter, Olley, O’Donnell; Rigg (White, 61’), Armstrong, Boden.
Subs not used: Foden, Maloney, Devitt.
Bookings: Thomson (69’)
Referee: Simeon Lucas/Scott Rudd
Attendance: 1078 (26 Gateshead)
MOTM: Robbie Tinkler