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Preview | Bromley (h)

The BT Sport camera's are back at the Lane again on Saturday with a later than usual kick-off time of 5.20pm for the National League encounter between Notts and Bromley.

Bromley’s 2-1 win against Eastleigh on Saturday saw them return to their familiar wing back system, and to good effect. Boss Andy Woodman had tried a new 4 at the back formation against Dagenham, due to the absence of key central defenders Chris Bush and Omar Sowunmi, but this clearly didn’t work as Bromley were put to the sword by a side who themselves were well beaten by Notts a week later.

In all fairness to Bromley, they did have 18 year old Zak Bradshaw in defence, and a week later Callum Reynolds and Sowunmi returned to the side which allowed them to return their familiar 3 at the back system.

Bromley Boss Andy Woodman
Bromley Boss Andy Woodman

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Assuming he has the players available you would expect Woodman to employ his favoured 3 at the back against Notts, and it’s clearly a system they are suited to.

In the last 5 games where they have actually played with their preferred system they have kept 4 clean sheets and only conceded the 1 goal at home to Eastleigh. They also picked up 13 points from a possible 15 during these 5 games, so they will be a trickier proposition than the Dagenham defeat suggests.

Despite that unusual defeat to Dagenham, Bromley find themselves sat 8th in the league and just 2 points behind Notts.

Notts decent run of results means they currently lie 3rd in the table and in a good position to keep the pressure on Chesterfield and Wrexham. In fact if Notts are victorious on Saturday it will be the first time they have strung together 4 wins in a row since being on that great run of form in the curtailed Covid season of 2019/20.

Bromley shape up well in the team actions rankings, but Notts still remain dominant in most actions.

Charts combined below:


Up until a few days before the season kicked off Bromley were without a senior goalkeeper, so the signing of Grenada international Reice Charles-Cook was something of a necessity.

Charles-Cook had played for Bromley before, and his return was seen by many at the time as a stop gap signing, but the 6'1" keeper has acquitted himself really well, keeping 4 clean sheets in 7 games, a divisional high.

Charles-Cook also makes 3.33 saves per 90, 1.62 more than Sam Slocombe. He also has a 75% save percentage, which is considerably higher than Slocombe’s 68.42%. Context is important though; Slocombe has only faced 19 shots, 13 less than Charles-Cook, so he may have made more saves had it been required.

Charles-Cook in action for Coventry City
Charles-Cook in action for Coventry City

It is the Grenadian’s distribution which is the real highlight of his game statistically though. Charles-Cook completes 90.82% of his progressive passes, 4th highest in the league and 2nd when it comes to goalkeepers. He’s also played 98 passes that are considered progressive, the 3rd highest, showing that not only is Charles-Cook a progressive distributor, but he’s also an accurate one. This of course is dictated by Bromley’s style of play, but they clearly have a very capable keeper between the sticks.

Bromley will be without the services of key defender Chris Bush, who is still serving a three match ban he received as a result of a straight red against Scunthorpe. Bush is a key player in and out of possession for Bromley, as not only is the 6'3" Bush a good defender, he also plays 14.04 progressive passes per 90, the 5th highest in the division. In his absence 26 year old behemoth Omar Sowunmi has really stepped up, and the 6'6" central defender is a key man for the Ravens. He may have only won 58% of his aerial duels but he’s still a massive threat from set pieces, and he already has a goal to his name this season; Cameron, Baldwin & co will have to be extremely careful when defending dead ball situations.

No player in the National League has played more key passes than Bromley’s Harry Forster, with the RWB recording 11, 5 more than Ruben Rodrigues in 2nd. He also has the best ratio too; he has played 1.62 key passes per 90, 0.54 more than the next best (Tom Allan of Gateshead). What do these stats tell us? That Forster is Bromley’s chief creative outlet, and that their most dangerous attacks usually come down the right hand side.

Creative Outlet - Bromley's Harry Forster
Creative Outlet - Bromley's Harry Forster

He will be up against Chicksen, who will have to be at his best to stop the attacking wing back. He actually matches up fairly well with Nemane too; Forster makes 4.42 crosses per 90 (12th) to Nemane’s 5.6 (6th), and he makes 5.45 1v1 dribbles per 90 (24th) to Nemane’s 5.39 (26th). Clearly the two are well matched, so it will be fascinating to see which wing back will have a bigger impact on the game.

In midfield Bromley are blessed with one of the finest young players in the league, James Vennings.

Most commonly deployed to the right of the midfield 3, Vennings is extremely well rounded, protecting the back 3 when Forster pushes forward from RWB. Vennings has won a remarkable 75.76% of his defensive duels, showing how well he does keep Bromley’s defence protected. He’s also key to Bromley’s build up play; Vennings plays 42.7 passes per 90, more than any other Bromley player bar Bush, who as previously mentioned is suspended. Most of the play comes through Vennings, and he’s also key in breaking up the play, and recovering the ball for his side.

Vennings also plays 0.46 smart passes per 90, a more than decent return considering he isn’t the sides main creator. Vennings is also an extremely accurate progressive passer; he completes 91.89% of his progressive passes, the 2nd highest in the league, and top for any outfield players. In short, Vennings is a well rounded midfielder, one who is full of energy and has plenty of time to improve; he will be a handful for Palmer and his midfield partner.