By Jonathan Corrall
It was a disappointing final home game of the season for Gateshead as they succumbed to a 2-0 defeat in a largely stale affair against Bromley at the International Stadium.
A brace from The Ravens’ Louis Dennis was enough to separate the two sides in a match where for long spells it looked like no one would be getting on the scoresheet.
An eventless first half saw neither side trouble the opposition goalkeeper and the second continued in much the same fashion until a fine strike out of nowhere from Dennis looked like it would be enough to win the game.
The Heed were unable to fashion an equaliser and a late error from Hannant allowed Dennis to add glamour to the proceedings with another well taken finish, the striker executing a lovely chip over Hanford from the edge of the area and sealing victory for the London side.
Despite a very stale opening to the game, Gateshead looked very comfortable on the ball and were pressing Bromley with ease. Once again, The Heed were looking most dangerous from the wings, and good interplay from O’Donnell and George Smith produced a few hopeful crosses into the box, which the ever lurking Burrow was unlucky to not make contact with.
The likes of Alan Dunne and Jack Holland were proving solid at the back for Bromley though, both defenders heading countless deliveries clear from danger in the first half, and despite being in complete control, Gateshead were struggling to muster up many other opportunities.
They came closest to finding the net with two well worked corners early on, Manny Smith popping up at the back post on both occasions to head the ball back into the six yard box, but no Heed players could make contact, and again the Bromley defence cleared their lines.
The first half came to a close with little action to speak of and the second didn’t get off to a much better start either.
But this time it was Gateshead that were taking the backseat, and having been completely anonymous in the first half, Bromley began to grow into the game, their surplus of attackers trying to find space through The Heed backline.
No one seemed to be able to find a rhythm though and the sides struggled to gain momentum, both guilty of committing careless midfield fouls which broke up the play on numerous occasions.
It wasn’t long before the frustration of the players began to show too, and a coming together of Lee Minshull and Jake Wright almost turned into a scrap before the referee diffused the situation, saving both of them from a pointless booking.
Neither side’s performance merited a goal, but one did eventually come, and it was Bromley’s Louis Dennis who put an end to the stalemate and take The Ravens into the lead.
After a marauding run forward, Lee Minshull played it out to Hall on the left wing who diverted the pass into the path of Dennis who was making a run into the box, the striker attempted to take it past Manny Smith who seemed to have made an interception. But the captain didn’t make a firm enough challenge and the ball rebounded back into Dennis’s feet who unleashed a wonderful curling finesse shot into the top right corner.
And it wasn’t long after that Bromley found their second to give themsleves a more than flattering score line. A through ball from the back was taken full advantage when Luke Hannant made a fatal slip, allowing Enver to run on the end of it. With only Fyfifeld between himself and a free run at goal, the substitute made one look up and slipped a pass again into the path of Dennis for a 1-on-1 chance.
A rushing Hanford did his best to close down the angle, but a cool Dennis nonchalantly dinked the ball over the keeper to claim the win for The Ravens.
It was the last real highlight of the game in footballing terms, as after another poor midfield foul, the game almost turned ugly as several pushes and shoves in the aftermath escalated out of the referee’s control.
Alan Dunne in particular was incredibly lucky to escape a booking after his initial lash out on Hannant went unpunished, Flitney, Bolton and Hannant himself instead seeing yellow for their involvement in the mass scuffle.
Despite Bromley having scored two goals they continued to play very laboriously, but so too did Gateshead, and ultimately, they were unable to find an answer to Bromley’s goals.
The game eventually fizzled out, and the referee blew for full time with the final score Gateshead 0-2 Bromley.
Gateshead: Hanford, Bolton, G. Smith (Mellish 84’), M. Smith, Fyfield, York, Burrow, Mafuta (Bell 75’), Hannant, McLaughlin, O’Donnell (Wright 63’)
Unused Subs: Montgomery, Hogan
Bookings: Fyfield (35’) Hannant (88’) Bolton (88’) Wright (90+2′)
Bromley: Flitney, Wynter, Johnson, Dunne, Holland, Minshull, Dennis, Higgs, Turgott (Hall 65’), Goldberg (Porter 53’), Sho-Silva (Enver 75’)
Unused Subs: Dymond, Omofe
Goals: Dennis (78’, 85’)
Bookings: Flitney (88’)
Referee: Tom Nield
MOTM: Luke Hannant
Attendance: 701 (60 away)