Bromley 2-0 Chesterfield: Playoffs Confirmed For The Ravens
Bromley secured their place in the National League Playoffs after a thrilling game against fellow playoff contender Chesterfield.
It was a slow first 15 minutes for Bromley as Chesterfield applied pressure until the 25th minute when Charlton Loanee Deji Elewere had a header hit the crossbar; however, Bromley grew into the game and eventually had too much for Chesterfield as 12 minutes later experienced midfielder Billy Bingham let the ball fly from 25 yards on a half-volley which was smashed into the bottom corner after ricocheting off the post to put Bromley in front.
Chesterfield forward Ryan Colcough was denied what seemed an inevitable equaliser by Reice Charles Cook before the halftime break; however, it would go from bad to worse in the 60th minute for Chesterfield, as a Louis Dennis cross targeted at Michael Cheek, found the foot of defender Ash Palmer who turned the ball into his own net.
The own goal proved to be the end of Chesterfield's challenge. With this loss and Woking's win against Gateshead, this has closed the gap in the race for 3rd; as for Bromley, a win and Eastleigh's 0-0 draw against Solihull Moors has sealed the Raven's spot in the National League Playoffs, with a game to spare. They are now eight games unbeaten.
This impressive run of form began with a 1-0 win over relegated Yeovil Town in March. Since this game, much of the credit has to go to the manager Andy Woodman whose determination rubbed off on the players, firstly by treating the remaining games as "Cup Finals", and it has been clear to see that his players did treat every game like such, even in games where they drew, it cannot be said that they settled for a point and gave everything they could right up until the final whistle.
Additionally, over his three seasons, he has managed to achieve success in all of them, such as helping Bromley achieve their first playoff appearance in his first season as well as the successful FA Trophy campaign last season and a further playoff finish this year.
Whilst it was tough for many fans to accept him when long-term and fan favourite manager Neil Smith was let go, the appointment of Andy Woodman received a fair share of critics; it is clear that three years later, by allowing him time to create and develop his own very young squad and implement his style of football, that these critics have been silenced. He has become another fan-favourite manager.
Bromley face Oldham at Boundary Park in their last game of the season. Whilst both teams' fates have been confirmed, it is clear that Andy Woodman will not take his foot off the accelerator as Bromley will want to push for points as they are looking to beat their highest point finish of 70 points.
Whatever the outcome of the playoffs are in a few weeks, it is clear that the building blocks have been created for Bromley to be a regular contender for playoffs and have given the fanbase optimism for the same to happen next season if they are eliminated from this season's playoffs.