National LeaguesNews

Bromley promoted to Football League

Bromley beat Solihull Moors 4-3 on penalties to secure a dramatic promotion to the English Football League for the first time in the club’s 132-year history.

Captain Byron Webster scored the deciding penalty to extend his 100% winning record at Wembley to four matches.

Bromley twice led through top scorer Michael Cheek, who rolled the ball into the bottom to open the scoring.

Joe Sbarra hit back shortly after half-time before Cheek won and scored a penalty to put his side back in front.

Solihull captain Jamey Osborne equalised for the Moors again to send the tie to extra-time, with Ravens substitute Alex Kirk twice hitting the woodwork as neither side could find the winner.

Moors got off to the worst possible start in the shootout with Bromley keeper Grant Smith saving from Tyrese Shade and Joss Labadie, but Nick Hayes denied Ashley Charles to keep Solihull in contention.

They scored their next three but Webster stepped up to net his side’s fourth and send Bromley up to League Two.

Manager Andy Woodman said in the lead-up to the game his goal had always been to take the club to the EFL and Sunday’s promotion final was his side’s golden ticket, with Solihull also playing for promotion for the first time since the club’s formation – from the merger of Solihull Borough and Moor Green – in 2007.

The Ravens were backed by a large section of the 23,000-plus crowd and made a fast start to match that support, with the club’s top scorer Cheek bursting through and shrugging off a challenge from Alex Whitmore before slotting beyond Hayes in the Moors goal.

Solihull boss Andy Whing was not happy at half-time and was seen speaking to referee James Durkin as he headed down the tunnel, with question marks over whether Cheek fouled the defender before scoring, but he would have been delighted with his side’s response and they were level three minutes into the second half.

Grant Smith could only parry Tahvon Campbell’s shot back into the box and Sbarra was quickest to react and score his fourth goal of the season.

But Bromley were presented with a chance to retake the lead within 10 minutes when Hayes brought down Cheek in the area after he had been played in by Corey Whitely.

Cheek sent the penalty straight down the middle for his 23rd goal of the game.

But Solihull would not stay down and again applied to pressure as they went in search of an equaliser.

Osborne ran at the back-pedalling defence and ignored the run of Campbell and Shade, going between the Bromley defenders and slotting a precise strike into the bottom corner beyond the diving Smith.

Kirk’s header agonisingly came back off the bar after Cheek flicked the ball on for a corner in the first half of extra time.

And the 21-year-old could not believe it when he saw a late effort crash off the inside of the post, flash across the face of goal and go out behind for a goal kick.

Ultimately it would not matter for the Ravens, as Woodman’s side won the shootout in epic style to lift the trophy and secure promotion.

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