Wrexham need to find their attacking form at home this season, but quickly got over the frustrations of last Saturday's goalless draw with Wealdstone.
Tuesday could hardly have gone better for Wrexham. Apart from a terrific last-gasp win from behind at Halifax, who had won their last 7 home games, the other results went perfectly.
The Red Dragons started the day in 9th place, and remarkably, only one of the sides above them won!
Bromley were one of those sides, losing at home to Yeovil Town, their first defeat in the league since mid-September. They come into this match in 4th place with a game in hand on those above them, having enjoyed a remarkable run of form through September and October, including a sequence of 7 consecutive wins in all competitions.
They like getting players forward quickly, and an illustration of their attacking emphasis can be found in their defence. Joe Partington is a Summer signing for Eastleigh, for whom he was outstanding in both games against Wrexham last Summer as a very progressive wing back. Indeed, he scored three goals across those games, including an absolute screamer at the Wrexrent Stand end. However, Bromley are utiilising his quality on the ball as a right-sided centre back in a back three, carrying the ball out from the back and linking up with a wing-back who can do real damage in Luke Coulson.
Up front, they can feed the redoubtable Michael Cheek, who is as close to a guarantee of goals as you can get in the National League. Since stepping up to the sixth tier in the January transfer window of 2014, when he then hit 12 goals in 12 starts for Chelmsford Town, he's reached double figures in the league every season. He's already there this time around, the equal second highest scorer in the division with 13 goals to his credit.
Coincidentally, their goalscoring record is identical to Wrexham's, having each played 16 games, scored 31 and conceded 18. That means this is a clash between the sides with the third best attacks and sixth best defences in the division. This is shaping up to be a crucial encounter.
HEAD TO HEAD
Last season’s home game against Bromley turned into a Dior Angus masterclass. Jordan Davies gave us the lead with his first Wrexham goal, but it was Angus who really put on a show.
Seven minutes before the break he ran in behind the Bromley defence and scored with a beautifully instinctive hooked finish over his shoulder. That goal would get onto the shortlist for goal of the season, and so would the beauty he scored midway through the second half.
Latching onto another long ball into the right channel, his technique was impeccable as he drilled a right-footed volley across the keeper and into the far bottom corner from a tight angle without even breaking stride.
Bromley’s first trip to The Racecourse came in February 2016, and a 2-0 win was also dominated by a striking performance. This time it was Lee Fowler who stood out.
Despite being brought in as captain by Gary Mills, and by all accounts being an impeccable professional, Fowler had only started one game that season, 20 games earlier, despite being fit all season.
Fowler took full advantage of being played at the sharp end of a midfield diamond, especially when he detected a Bromley weakness at right back and used the flexibility afforded to him by the position to target him. He scored the first goal and controlled the match: Connor Jennings scored a penalty before the break and Wrexham coasted to a 2-0 win, Fowler being withdrawn 2 minutes from the end to enjoy a standing ovation.
Dean Keates’ first win as manager came at Bromley’s expense in October 2016 as Shaun Harrad and Gerry McDonagh scored the goals in a 2-1 win.
Ntumba Massanka scored two second half goals to clinch a 2-0 win in September 2017, which he added to at the end of the campaign with two more to become our top scorer against The Whites.
Our perfect home record came to a close in August 2018, but the dropped points were certainly avoidable.
Mike Fondop scored in the first half, and Rekeil Pyke made it 2-0 with 25 minutes left, but things would change dramatically from that point.
Four minutes a penalty made it 2-1, and in added time Luke Summerfield leapt at the near post to try to head a corner clear but the ball skidded off the top of his head and into the net to earn Bromley a draw.
Luke Young got us back to winning ways, scoring the only goal of the match in the 77th minute of our clash in November 2019, although it took a brilliant Rob Lainton save to ensure we took all three points.
Ben Tozer's 400th career league appearance.
Phil Parkinson's next league win will be the 250th of his career.