With the Gaffer away on business, Tristan Lewis took charge of United for the visit of high flying Bromley to York Road on Saturday afternoon.
Four changes were made to the United starting line-up compared to that from the previous league game as Calum Kitscha, Tom Collins, Rhys Murrell-Williamson and Gary MacDonald replaced Dan Wishart (departed), Matt Ruby (injured), Louis-Rae Beadle and Grant Smith who both dropped to the bench to be joined by new arrival Jack Mills.
United started well with Rhys Murrell-Williamson hitting a curling effort that drew a diving save from visiting ‘keeper Seb Brown however the Lillywhites themselves went close just a few minutes later when Joe Anderson’s free-kick into the middle was headed wide by Pierre Joseph-Dubois from ten yards.
United were dealt a blow in the 17th minute when Calum Kitscha punched clear a corner only to be flattened in the process leading to his leaving the field with a suspected concussion that sadly has seen him have to withdraw from this weeks’ England C squad. Grant Smith replacing him between the sticks.
Eight minutes later the deadlock was broken. Gary MacDonald fired in a corner from the left and with the ball in the air eagle-eyed referee Mr Purkiss spotted Dean Inman being dragged to the floor by Bromley’s Ugo Udoji and the official duly pointed to the spot and cautioned the offender. Pat Cox took responsibility and kept up his 100% record from the spot giving Brown no chance.
United’s lead could have lasted less than sixty seconds though as Jordan Robertson crossed to the far post to an arriving former United loanee Louis Dennis but he shot wide from close in.
United went a little on the back foot now as the visitors pushed for an equaliser. Danny Waldren hit a fierce drive that only just cleared Smith’s goal before in first half stoppage time Moses Ademola brought the ball down superbly inside the box and got his shot away on for it to be blocked by a perfectly timed Inman interception.
Again after the break the first chance fell to the home side as Matty Harriott cut out a clearance and played the ball first time up to Cox, his effort on the turn being gathered in by Brown.
Then the game was turned totally on its head within a five minute spell that saw the Lillywhites net twice to take the lead. Former United man Joseph-Dubois being first provider then destroyer as the nippy forward burst into the area and despite being dragged back still manager to square the ball to strike partner Ademola who rolled the ball into the empty net, probably saving United from going down to 10 men in the process.
Four minutes later United were behind as Ademola collected after a missed clearance attempt and returned the compliment to Joseph-Dubois who fired home despite a desperate attempt at a flying head off the line by Inman.
Tristan Lewis immediately threw his final two cards into the fray as Murrell-Williamson and Ashleigh Artwell were replaced by Louis-Rae Beadle and Jack Mills respectively.
Ademola should have done better for Bromley having been set up again by Joseph-Dubois but he bounced his shot into Smith’s arms and five minutes later the same player was put clean through only to be denied by a diving block from the alert Smith.
United had a turn of pressure around the three-quarter mark in the game as Tom Collins came in from the left wing and fired just wide and then Harriott rode a couple of tackles before setting up Beadle who saw his shot deflected just over the angle on post and crossbar for a corner. Beadle himself took the kick and struck the near post however when he reclaimed the ball he was correctly penalised as nobody else had touched the ball since he took the corner.
Lewis Ferrell then denied Dennis at the other end, deflecting his shot over the crossbar before Robertson missed a golden chance to put the game to bed when he headed a Joseph-Dubois centre wide from 6 yards.
The final action of the game saw Collins bring a diving save from Brown but it was not to be and United fell to defeat for the first time in a month.