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Match Reports


26 December 2021

Southend United picked up a point at promotion-chasing Bromley as Matthew Dennis’ second goal in as many games helped Blues to a 1-1 draw at Hayes Lane.

After a goalless first-half, Michael Cheek broke the deadlock in the 65th minute with his flicked header beating Steve Arnold but Southend responded immediately two minutes later with Dennis converting from inside the box to ensure both sides claimed a point.

Blues boss Kevin Maher made four changes for this Boxing Day clash with Steve Arnold, Will Atkinson, Matthew Dennis and John White all coming into the side to take on a Bromley team who had the chance to top the National League table with victory.

The home side – in their changed red strip in support of the #NoHomeKit campaign by the charity Shelter – made a bright start live on BT Sport with Louis Dennis causing problems in the Southend box with a fizzing cross before Omar Sowunmi had a header cleared off the line by Atkinson.

Blues settled and carved out a couple of half-chances of their own with Sowunmi cutting out an audacious Zak Brunt rabona-style cross which was destined for the head of Matthew Dennis before Southend’s Dennis teed up Sam Dalby whose shot was blocked.

Bromley continued to have the better of the first-half chances with Sowunmi again going close from a corner, heading narrowly wide, and right on half-time the Ravens broke forward and saw Jude Arthurs have a strike on goal which was brilliantly cleared off the line by Nathan Ralph.

Southend came flying out of the blocks in the second-half with a flurry of chances after the interval with Matthew Dennis going close with a low drive that whistled past Mark Cousins’s left-hand upright.

Blues were in again seconds later as Dalby rounded the Bromley goalkeeper but ran too far wide for a strike on goal, instead playing the ball back to Demetriou who slashed his strike wide. Demetriou then was in again getting in at the far post with his diving header going wide.

Southend needed to be more clinical in front of goal to press home their advantage, but Bromley would punish Blues’ profligacy by taking the lead in the 65th minute as Michael Cheek got on the end of a Liam Trotter close, flicking his header beyond the dive of Arnold to break the deadlock.

Cheek’s 14th goal of the season temporarily sent Bromley to the top of the National League table, but their lead was short-lived as less than two minutes later, Blues equalised through Matthew Dennis. Demetriou’s cross found Dalby who laid it back to Dennis to beat Cousins and level things up.

Kevin Maher’s side had their tails up and were further buoyed when Trotter limped off after Bromley had already made all of their allotted changes, meaning for the final quarter of an hour Blues had a man advantage to try and pick up a vital three points.

Southend pinned Bromley back with the extra man and had a couple of chances to grab the victory with subs Lewis Gard and Rhys Murphy both having opportunities go begging. Dalby then went close with seconds of added on time to play but Bromley kept him out as the spoils were shared.

Bromley XI: Cousins, Bush, Sowunmi, Coulson, Arthurs, Cheek, Dennis (Alexander 45+1’), Trotter, Webster (C), Forster (Alabi 66’), Sablier (Whitely 55’). Subs Not Used: Partington, Cawley

Blues XI: Arnold, Ralph, Hobson, Dunne (Gard 46’), Dalby, Clifford, Atkinson, Demetriou, Dennis (Murphy 70’), Brunt, White (C)(Coulson 59’). Subs Not Used: Andeng Ndi, Walsh

Referee: Lewis Smith

Assistants: Robert Evans & Steve Durnall

Fourth Official: Richie Watkins


Bromley: Michael Cheek 65’

Southend United: Matthew Dennis 67’

Yellow Cards:

Bromley: George Alexander 57’

Southend United: Will Atkinson 57’, Shaun Hobson 84’

Attendance: 3,759

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