The hard times continue for the Fleet at the Kuflink Stadium as they fell to another one-goal defeat sparked by the concession of this time not one, but two early goals for the visitors.
Jack Powell pulled one back on the stroke of half-time from a free-kick but try as they might in the second-half, Fleet were again left firing blanks against a tight-knit Bromley defence.
Fleet made just the one enforced change, Sam Magri in for the suspended Kenny Clark while there was a new face in the Bromley defence, Richard Brindley coming in on a short-term deal earlier today.
Fleet looked more adventurous in the early stages, winning several set pieces and Myles Weston warmed David Gregory’s hands with a shot on target after five minutes. Not long after that, Bromley got their own eyes on goal when Frankie Sutherland was first to a loose ball outside the box and his shot bent through the box but screwed wide of the post.
Weston continued to show energy down the right flank and his 10th minute cross was hastily cleared from under the Bromley bar. But just as Fleet looked to have survived the opening period of the first half, Bromley edged in front. The goal came on 16 minutes when Sutherland’s corner looped only to the near post and Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe was allowed to creep in front of his marker to plant a header between Ashmore and the upright.
Fleet tried to respond and Weston again saw a cross work its way through the visiting defence but as it fell for Bagasan Graham, he wasn’t quite ready for it and the chance went. The home side’s best opportunity came on 24 minutes when Corey Whitely found Michael Cheek whose smart turn and shot was just off target.
Frankie Raymond saw yellow in a flare-up shortly afterwards, the referee having made something of a rod for his own back earlier by the soft booking of Graham.
On 28 minutes some neat link-up play between Magri and Weston had the Bromley defence back-tracking but the ball fell to Dean Rance with his back to goal and he could only hook it wildly over his shoulder.
But Fleet’s quest for an equaliser turned to naught on 32 minutes. Ogedi-Uzokwe tried to force his way through from the edge of the box before falling over a Fleet leg but the referee deemed that a legal challenge. Uzokwe managed to propel the ball further into the box and as Fleet defenders backed off Bugiel, he went over another leg and this time the referee was convinced and awarded the penalty. Sutherland smashed that home and it was 2-0.
With home fans frustrated, the referee not helping their mood and Fleet’s deficit having doubled, tempers on and off the field at least kept the noise levels high. As the clock ticked past 45 minutes, Fleet were handed a lifeline when Powell opened his account for the season, sending a well-crafted free-kick out of Gregory’s reach to billow the inside of the net.
The second half made for familiar viewing for exasperated home fans as their side dominated the ball for long periods but could find no way through once more. Fleet started the second period as they had the first, firing a shot into Gregory’s arms, this time from Rance.
They went about their work with an urgency and Weston was the main creator as he tried to feed Cheek. He also crafted the best opportunity for an equaliser on 52 minutes, cutting in from the right, angling a run across two Bromley defenders and bending a shot that bounced off the foot of the post.
The referee was once again to the fore, booking six more players in the second half, Jake Goodman receiving one of those as he injured himself in bringing down Whitely. There were a few scraps for Fleet to work off, Cheek heading Graham’s cross high towards the goalkeeper’s reach, yet another Weston cross being headed clear and Cheek again seeing a header roll agonisingly wide from a free-kick.
Bromley were patient and waited for chances on the break, Ashmore twice having to be alert to deny Bugiel as he got beyond the Fleet back line and the visitors were more than adept and closing the game out in a muted closing period.
EUFC: Ashmore, Magri, Winfield, Bush, Rance, Adams, Powell (McQueen 84), Graham (Shields 69), Weston, Whitely, Cheek (Kedwell 84). Subs not used: Miles, Coulson
BFC: Gregory, Sutherland, Holland, Raymond, Bugiel (Meekums 90), Goodman (Johnson 62), Porter, Ogedi-Uzokwe, Luque (Higgs 66), Wood, Brindley. Subs not used: De Silva, Meekums, Huxter