Hartlepool United 3-2 Bromley, National League Play-Off Eliminator: report, ratings and verdict


Hartlepool United 5-3-2



Bromley FC 4-4-2

Half Time: 3 - 0 Victoria Park ( Attendance: 1,700 )
1 min

It was Play-Off stage fright for Bromley as an uncharacteristic defensive display saw them fall to a 3-2 defeat against Hartlepool United in the National League Play-Off eliminator at Victoria Park.

Having sprung a surprise with a more offensive selection than anticipated, Bromley were blown away in the opening 25 minutes of the game courtesy of a Rhys Oates masterclass. 

The Pools frontman gave the home side the lead when he took advantage of defensive indecision to poke beyond Mark Cousins on 17 minutes. 

Three minutes later he turned provider, once again peeling off the Bromley defence before crossing for strike partner Luke Armstrong to finish smartly. 

And it was 3-0 four minutes later when Oates got on the end of a flick-on before shooting low past Cousins when the ball broke back to him.

With the game over Bromley rallied briefly in the second-half with substitute James Alabi pulling a goal back three minutes after the restart when he nodded in from a corner.

Billy Bingham saw a strike from distance deflected narrowly wide with 20 minutes remaining before Alex Mitchell poked in Chris Bush’s long throw in the final 30 seconds.

Key Points

Check out all the key talking points and reaction from London Football Scene below…

Key Moment

Unexpected indecision between captain Chris Bush and goalkeeper Mark Cousins handed Hartlepool an early goal and an ascendancy they never relinquished.

Moan of the Match

Bromley have built their run to the Play-Offs on the back of a mean defence but they lost their heads in seven first-half minutes. Game management went missing and this ultimately cost them.

Talking Point

Andy Woodman sprung a surprise with a relatively offensive line-up – did this hand Hartlepool the initiative? Would it have been better for Bromley to focus on defensive solidity first and foremost?

Man of the Match

Rhys Oates – the Hartlepool frontman has had a brilliant season but this performance was the highlight. He had a hand in every goal and was a persistent menace.

Tweet of the Match

Referee Watch

Lewis Smith (Lancashire) – kept the game running and got all the major decisions correct.


The return of home fans was always going to prove pivotal with 1,700 Hartlepool supporters making it a difficult environment for Bromley to play in at a rocking Victoria Park.


A high-octane first-half performance from Hartlepool won the game. When Bromley most needed to execute the game plan that has reaped rewards in the past it went missing and cost them heavily.

Line Ups

Hartlepool United 5-3-2

James; Sterry, Odusina, Liddle, Johnson, Ferguson (Donaldson, 83); Featherstone, Shelton, Holohan (Francis-Angol, 80); Armstrong, Oates (Elliott, 88)

Subs not used:

Ravas, Saunders



Bromley FC 4-4-2

Cousins; Kizzi, Mitchell, Arthurs, Fox (Alabi, 46); Bush, Bingham, Bridge, Williamson (Webster, 46); Forster (Campbell, 69), Cheek

Subs not used:

Trotter, Raymond


Bingham, Arthurs, Mitchell

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