Matchday 20 is upon the Coasters in the National League, and it’s Bromley FC at Hayes Lane who the lads travel to face. 

Chris Beech will be hoping his side can put last week’s defeat to York City behind them, but standing in their way is high flying Bromley, who we take a quick look at in our preview.  

The Lowdown

The Coasters travel down to London, aiming to get their form back on track after two consecutive defeats to Sutton in the FA Cup and York in the league, which has seen Chris Beech achieve mixed results since being at the helm.

A 2-0 home defeat to York last weekend was not on the cards – however, the Coasters struggled to break the visitors down in what was a closely contested affair.

The Ravens are currently in magnificent form and have lost just twice since August 15th and currently sit in fourth position. A televised defeat to Blackpool saw them exit the FA Cup, whereas last time out in the league, they shared a point with Boreham Wood.

With Bromley looking to extend their good run of form, the Coasters will be looking to spoil the party at Hayes Lane.

The Manager: Andy Woodman

Woodman started his playing career at South London side Crystal Palace and spent five years with the Eagles without making an appearance before moving to Exeter City in 1994. 

In his spell at Exeter, he managed to get himself sent off twice in six appearances. His time at Exeter was cut short when he decided to move to Northampton in March 1995, which looking back, was the best thing for his career. 

Over four years at Northampton, Woodman went on to play 163 games and was deemed something of a hero with the Cobblers faithful. However, Woodman’s career then seemed to go on a downward spiral.

Most notable were spells at Brentford, Colchester and Oxford, where he managed to stay for over a season. In 2006, Woodman called time on his career and retired at Rushden and Diamonds, eventually moving to their coaching team as Assistant Manager. 

Since then, Woodman has had many jobs as a goalkeeping coach at Premier League sides such as West Ham, Crystal Palace and Newcastle United. In 2017, Woodman got his first gig as a manager at Whitehawk and kept them in the National League South. 

In 2021, he joined Bromley and hasn’t looked back since, guiding them to playoff finishes as well as winning the FA Trophy. Woodman also survived the test of loyalty, turning down League Two Gillingham to stay with the Ravens.

Key Players

Michael Cheek – Bromley’s version of the Fylde great Danny Rowe. Notching nearly 100 goals since joining in 2019, Cheek is the typical centre-forward who knows how to find the net and doesn’t mind how he does it. 

Corey Whitely – Another frontman who has made his career travelling around the non-league clubs in London. Link-up play with Cheek is a crucial part of this Bromley side and is part of a key strike partnership.

Byron Webster – The captain and centre-back who keeps the Bromley ship steady. Webster is a calming influence and keeps things simple and tidy at the back.

Previous Meetings

09 September 2017 – AFC Fylde 2-2 Bromley – National League 

Scorers: Fylde – Serhat Tasdemir & Danny Rowe

Bromley – Josh Rees & Frank Sutherland

06 January 2018 – Bromley 0-1 AFC Fylde – National League 

Scorer: Fylde – Jack Muldoon

04 August 2018 – AFC Fylde 2-1 Bromley – National League 

Scorers: Fylde – Danny Rowe & Andy Bond

Bromley – Jordan Higgs

05 January 2019 – Bromley 3-2 AFC Fylde – National League

Scorers: Bromley – JJ Hooper (X2) & Frank Sutherland

Fylde – Danny Rowe & Arthur Gnahoua.

31 August 2019 – Bromley 2-2 AFC Fylde – National League 

Scorers: Bromley – Billy Bingham & Frankie Raymond

Fylde – Jordan Williams

Opposition Form

The Ravens have started their campaign better than they probably expected, sitting in fourth position after 19 games. A rocky start to their season saw only one win in August, but since then, the Ravens have lost only twice. 

Defeats to Chesterfield and Blackpool have been the only downside to their recent run – however, Woodman’s men are sitting quite comfortably in the playoffs.

Match Preview is written by Benji Jenkinson.