UNITED stooped to a new low in a brutal season and a second-half display that was a very long way from being acceptable for our proud football club.
The Gulls actually looked bright in the opening 45 minutes and unlucky to go in one down from a Louis Dennis effort, but what happened after the break was a humiliating capitulation.
Adam Mekki, Luke Wanadio and Frankie Raymond piled on the misery, as Bromley sauntered to an easy three points.
United boss Gary Owers made just one change from the side that came away unfortunate to lose 2-1 at home to Eastleigh last week. New loan signing from Dagenham, Elliott Romain, was given a chance to start in attack ahead of Alex Fletcher.
Bromley rolled up to Plainmoor with the hope of a return to winning ways in the League following a frustrating 1-0 defeat to AFC Fylde a fortnight ago, although manager Neil Smith opted to leave former United striker Brett Williams on the bench for his Plainmoor return.
A sharp start from Romain on a heavy pitch was very nearly rewarded when he attempted to latch on to a loose pass but credit to Jack Holland for strong defending. At the other, a low skidder from Louis Dennis was safely gobbled up by goalkeeper Ryan Clarke.
A lovely pass into space from Jake Gosling then picked out Tommy O’Sullivan, who fed the ball wide to Jamie Reid. His initial cross bounced clear to Luke Young and the ball promptly returned to the danger area in a bright spell of pressure from the Gulls.
There was real purpose in United’s work, a point typified by a shuddering midfield tackle from George Dowling allowing Romain the space to thread a channel pass forward for Reid, who dragged his final effort narrowly beyond the far post.
Bromley, however, quickly replied with a foray of their own, as Adam Mekki flicked the ball past Conrad Balatoni and raced through on goal. Clarke was sharply off his line to snuffle the danger and then tipped over a header from the subsequent corner.
Rain began to fall heavily on already saturated pitch and the slippery conditions very nearly caught out Clarke when he allowed a routine near-post cross to escape his grasp, but Sean McGinty was on hand to hack clear the loose ball.
Temperatures rose inside Plainmoor with a juicy challenge from Young in the engine room and Frankie Raymond responded with a poor foul on Michee Efete. Referee Adam Penwell brandished the yellow card and then bizarrely penalised Romain for being the meat in a Bromley sandwich.
It was getting fruity and Young stirred the pot with a lovely swerving drive from distance that clipped the outside of the post with goalkeeper David Gregory well beaten. United were turning the screw and impressive stuff in the midfield area from Young, O’Sullivan and Dowling.
As if to sum up the frustration of United’s season, Bromley then snatched the lead with a bustling run through the middle and when the ball bobbled up kindly for Dennis, he made no mistake in finding the roof of the net.
A surge down the left from Jake Gosling threatened to provide an immediate riposte but his fizzing low cross was glanced into the grateful arms of Gregory by the stooping head of Romain. A deep cross from Liam Davis then picked out the lively forward for a towering header at the back post but, again, Gregory was positioned perfectly to block the effort.
The second period with more sharp work from Romain and his run inside was crudely halted by a flailing arm from Holland, who was lucky to escape more punishment than just a free-kick.
The game was stretching from one end to another and good stuff to watch, but it was all about solving United’s season-long problem of finding the net. Dowling was the latest to try for an answer on 54 minutes but the long-range shot was well wide.
Owers had seen enough and replaced Reid with Fletcher in a move designed to get more Yellow bodies in the box. Bromley, however, were next to threaten, and Clarke first did well to turn wide an Omar Bugiel shot and then brilliantly to save a close-ranger header from the resultant corner.
It was delaying the pain, sadly, and a weaving run and a low shot from Mekki was enough to find the bottom corner of a forlorn United net. It was just too easy and a massive mountain to climb.
United turned to Reece Mitchell for the final 20 minutes, while the visitors introduced Williams, and he was soon celebrating with his new team-mates, as a soft pass inside fell to Wanadio for a comfortable finish.
There was an inevitably about number four and the lack of a challenge from the United defence was simply not acceptable. Mekki strolled through the penalty area and squared a pass for Raymond to roll the ball into an unguarded net.
There was time for one very hollow cheer, as a penalty save from Clarke prevented an embarrassing result getting even worse but no masking what was a pathetic showing from the Gulls.
United (4-3-3): 1 Ryan Clarke; 2 Michee Efete, 26 Conrad Balatoni, 5 Sean McGinty (capt), 3 Liam Davis; 24 George Dowling, 8 Luke Young, 17 Tommy O’Sullivan (15 Reece Mitchell 69); 11 Jake Gosling, 22 Elliott Romain (10 Ruairi Keating 80), 19 Jamie Reid (28 Alex Fletcher 56). Substitutes (not used): 6 Josh Gowling, 30 Vincent Dorel (GK).
Booked: Davis 78
Bromley (4-4-2): 1 David Gregory; 23 Luke Woolfenden, 5 Ben Chorley, 6 Jack Holland (capt), 16 Tyrone Sterling; 17 Luke Wanadio (14 Jordan Higgs 73), 4 Josh Rees, 8 Frankie Raymond (24 Dominic Vose 84), 11 Adam Mekki; 10 Louis Dennis, 25 Omar Bugiel (9 Brett Williams 69). Substitutes (not used): 15 Dan Johnson, 19 Roger Johnson.
Booked: Raymond 27
Referee: Adam Penwell
Attendance: 1,547 (70 Away)