Ebbsfleet United put a dent in Bromley Blues’ perfect record as they deservedly shared the points in a game in which they dominated possession but could not translate this into goals.
This was a repeat of last month’s cup game in which Bromley ran out 2-1 winners and was played on Bromley’s new 3G pitch at the back of the main ground. After Leo Mazzone had fired a shot narrowly wide from the edge of the box, the hosts nearly took the lead on 8 minutes when an inswinging corner from Conal O’Leary was met by a powerful well directed header from Jordan Higgs that was superbly saved by Fleet keeper Rhys Hughes, who diving low to his left stuck out a strong left hand to divert the ball out for a corner.
Minutes later Shilow Tracey made a good run across the edge of the Blues box making space well but his shot was deflected out for a corner. However Fleet should have opened the scoring on 13 minutes when Caleb Bearman-Dyce made a good run down the left before cutting into the box and squaring the ball to an unmarked Tracey who shot over with the goal at his mercy.
After this the play evened out although the visitors were having the lion’s share of possession. However on 29 minutes Bromley took the lead when another excellent O’Leary corner found Higgs rising highest in the centre of the box and he powerfully headed home high to the left of Hughes. Fleet went close to drawing level on 37 minutes when Karn Miller-Neave’s free kick from wide right was flicked on by Mazzone but the ball flew straight at Blues keeper Bradley Morgan.
The last action of the first half saw Bromley’s big centre forward Eden Dewar-Douglas make a powerful forward run at the heart of the Fleet defence but his 20 yard shot flew narrowly wide.
Fleet made a couple of changes at half time with George Della Valle and Bearman-Dyce being replaced by Benedict Bowers and Andre Trenton. The home side then went close to increasing their lead on 50 minutes when Theo Newton’s right wing cross was nodded on by Dewar-Douglas but Hughes made another fantastic save, this time high to his right to claw the ball out for a corner. From this swung in by O’Leary, Jack White rose highest but directed his header straight at Hughes.
Minutes later Bowers shot narrowly wide and then little happened for the next 30 minutes as both team’s cancelled each other out. However into the final 10 minutes Bromley were unlucky not to increase their lead when Jason Ward thumped a 30 yard shot that beat Hughes high to his right but crashed against the bar before rebounding out to safety.
This was more galling for the home side as a minute later Fleet substitute Marshall Taderera hit a spectacular shot from all of 30 yards that flew over the outstretched hand of the diving Morgan high to his left and into the net to earn the Fleet a point.
The only blot on a determined and dominant Fleet performance was the sending off of Jeffrey Nguede late in the game after he had been shown a second yellow card for a strong tackle.
Fleet stay second in the league, three points behind Dover.
TEAM: Hughes, Boulding, Miller-Neave, Della Valle, Denny, Stewart, Johnson, Mazzone, Nguede, Tracey, Bearman-Dyce. Subs: Moore, Bowers, Trenton, Allen, Crean-White, Salter, Taderera