Ademola’s well-timed header following a quick breakaway goal broke the deadlock for the visitors after an uneventful and dire first-half. City’s hopes for a leveller looked all but over when skipper Mark Hughes was shown his marching orders with just over 25-minutes remaining after collecting two bookings in the space of two minutes.
But Michael Toner was on hand to net an equaliser, although that soon counted for nothing as Ademola restored Bromley’s lead with two minutes to go.
The match ended in unsavoury circumstances with Harry Hickford sent off for a dangerous tackle and manager Mark Hawkes sent to the stand for retaliating to the challenge.
Hawkes was clearly frustrated with the result and some of the refereeing decisions throughout the game, but maintained that there was very little difference in the two sides.
"I thought for me it was brought on by one person. Mark Hughes got sent off for a tackle when I thought we were going to get the free-kick. He picks up another yellow card and gets sent off," he said.
“The game hinged on that moment. There was an elbow flung by them in our box in the first half but nothing. Then in the second half a player is flattened five seconds after a corner, nothing. Michael Cheek then gets booked for very little.
“I can’t really argue with Harry’s [Hickford’s] sending off. I didn’t think it was a bad decision like their 14 and 15 and their bench having to go on the pitch which ended up with me getting sent off. I don’t understand why when there’s a melee like that that one from a side gets picked on and their 14 and 15 walk off scott free. I just can’t understand that.
“They’ve got that little bit more experience and they probably talked to the referee in a better manner.
“The suspensions didn’t affect us today. There was nothing between the two sides. If we were a little bit cuter maybe, if Michael Cheek could have put Jack Bridge in in the first two minutes and put Joe Ward in midway through the half, it’s these little bits. In the first half we probably had three or four goalscoring opportunities.
“We then get sucked to the ball and nobody covers the back post. It’s these little things that are massive in a game of football.
“I think this season has proved there is no standout team. Teams at the top are more consistent and a little bit more experience helps, but there’s no standout side in the whole division.
“I’m a little bit frustrated because we missed a gilt-edged opportunity at Wealdstone, so that’s three points. We were the better side at Concord, that’s six points. We should have won at Maidenhead, that’s nine points. I think a fair result today would probably have been a draw, so that’s 10 points.
“So instead of being on 45 points and where we are now, we’d be up there third or fourth in the league."
Playing against Bromley, who were on a five match unbeaten run prior to the encounter, is never an easy feat, especially as manager Mark Hawkes was faced with a number of suspensions and injuries to contend with, and the harsh dismissal made it that little bit harder in the final stages.
Problems first arose when Yado Mambo, who has often been such a commanding figure at the back, pulled out in the warm-up, meaning Leon Redwood was drafted into left-back.
A suspension to centre-back Mark Haines paved the way for Michael Toner and Marvin Ekpiteta to pair up while Harry Hickford took-up central midfield duties in place of Lee Sawyer. Kabongo Tshimanga made his debut, leading the line with Michael against a Bromley defence who were minus influential skipper, and former Claret, Rob Swaine.
The hosts began to compose themselves shortly after a quick Bromley start and, after back-to-back defeats, it is understandable that the side took a while to find their feet in this game. Driving runs from MK Dons loanee Kabongo Tshimanga and Jack Bridge sparked some confidence throughout the team but the final ball was just lacking as the swirling wind played a key part.
Bromley looked lethargic – Moses Ademola was the only one who looked to drive forward with any real purpose – but credit to their defence who stood strong against the City front line.
They could only watch on when City skipper Mark Hughes met a loose ball in the air with a scissor kick, and he was unfortunate in the fact that it spun wide at the last moment. The City fans finally had something to cheer and their spirits were almost raised further when Michael Cheek met a searching ball at the back post, only to nod narrowly wide.
Bromley looked determined to make up for a below-par first-half instantly after the interval and Marvin Ekpiteta almost gifted them a lead when he deflected Joe Anderson’s cross just wide of the goal. The City centre-back cut a relieved figure as he watched it curl away from an upright.
And it was the visitors who broke the deadlock with a beautifully worked counter-attack. Moses Ademola broke through the middle of the park, spraying the ball wide to Ugo Udoji. The overlapping full-back drove forward before playing an inch-perfect cross which was finished well by Ademola, flashing his header into the far corner.
Ademola’s well-worked goal appeared to knock the stuffing out of the hosts as they were restricted to playing inside their own half. To make matters worse and to further add salt to their wounds, City skipper Mark Hughes was sent off after picking up two yellow cards in as many minutes.
His first was for dissent while the second was for a strong but fair challenge on Bromley centre-back Jack Holland, and that gave the Clarets an uphill struggle in the final twenty-five minutes that remained.
Tom Lovelock, who went unchallenged for most of the match, kept the Clarets in the game with a terrific near-post save to deny a ferocious shot from Bradley Goldberg.
While that important save kept the hosts in it they just couldn’t quite carve an opening and Bromley arguably showed why they are in the higher echelons of the league table with a back-line that rarely makes a mistake.
Harry Hickford thought that he had earned the Clarets a point when he powered Ward’s corner towards goal, but Moses Ademola heroically headed off the line.
When all hopes looked lost and the Clarets looked ready to succumb to a third straight defeat the hosts eventually forced a break-through with all but seven minutes remaining.
Toner, who was pushed to left-back following the introduction of Evans Kouassi, tapped home at the near post after some brilliant wing-play from Jack Bridge, leaving Bromley stunned as to how they let a comfortable lead slip from their grasp.
But they were not to be depleted and remarkably recovered their lead. Moses Ademola was on hand again to steer the ball home at the back post as the Clarets’ efforts went unrewarded.
That defeat condemned the Clarets to a third consecutive defeat – the first time that that string of results has occurred this season – and with Harry Hickford sent off for a late challenge on Ugo Udoji and Mark Hawkes sent to the stand following a nasty exchange with the opposition bench, this match will simply be one to forget.
1. Tom Lovelock
2. Rob Girdlestone
3. Michael Toner
4. Mark Hughes (C)
5. Marvin Ekpiteta
6. Leon Redwood
7. Harry Hickford
8. Joe Ward
9. Kabongo Tshimanga
10. Michael Cheek
11. Jack Bridge
12. Mason Spence (On for Kabongo Tshimanga, 68)
14. Harry Morgan
15. Evans Kouassi (On for Leon Redwood, 81)
16. Rohdell Gordon
17. Niklas Freund (GK)
1. Alan Julian
2. Ugo Udoji
3. Joe Anderso
4. Ali Fuseini
5. Callum McNaughton
6. Jack Holland
7. Moses Ademola
8. Reece Prestedge
9. Danny Waldren (C)
10. Bradley Goldberg
11. Louis Dennis
12. Paul Rodgers (On for Ugo Udoji, 90)
14. Ayo Thompson
15. Billy Carter
16. Conal O’Leary
17. Adam Birchall
Referee: Mr Alan Young (Ely)
Assistant referees: Mr Ellis Clark and Mr Andy Humphries
Bookings: Chelmsford City: Mark Hughes (61, dissent and 63, foul), Michael Cheek (72, foul)
Sent off: Chelmsford City: Mark Hughes (63, two bookable offences), Harry Hickford (90, dangerous play)
Scorers: Chelmsford City: Michael Toner (83)
Bromley: Moses Ademola (53, 88)
HT Score: 0-0
City Man of the Match: Tom Lovelock