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Confident Bromley looking to upset Sutton in Cup clash
THE LAST time Bromley came face to face with arch-rivals Sutton United in the FA Cup it was in the fourth qualifying round in 1996, writes Stephen McCartney.
On that day, at Hayes Lane, Keith Sharman scored the only goal of the game as Bromley went on to reach the first round proper of the competition for the first time in nineteen years.
Their run, however, was ended by fellow league rivals Enfield. Despite taking the lead through Conrad Kane's early strike, Mark West's hat-trick saw the north Londoners progress with a 3-1 win in front of 2,709 at Hayes Lane.
Bromley supporters, who will be turning out in their droves, at least 300 are expected to make the short trip to Gander Green Lane, will be hoping for the same result as eight years ago.
It has been five and a half years since they have seen their team play against the U's and assistant manager Grant Watts is confident the team won't disappoint.
"We are looking forward to it, very much so," said the 30-year-old former Crystal Palace striker.
"It's going to be a difficult game for us - one we can get a good result out of.
"Confidence is high at the moment and when you are in a good run as well anything can happen especially going in as underdogs - which suits us."
However, many neutrals may consider the Ryman League Division One visitors favourites against the team struggling near the foot of the Nationwide South table.
Sutton, without a home win from their opening six league games, only have St Albans City and Welling United below them in the table but Bromley, sitting in fourth place, two league's below them, are raring to go.
Watts added: "We are always up for it, so hopefully the supporters will get behind us on Saturday.
"I think the season's gone really well.
"We are sitting where we would like to be, although we would like to be top.
"If you look back at the season with the games we've played, I can honestly say we should have won more games than we have."
Bromley are back to full strength for the game, but if a replay is required it shall take place at Hayes Lane next Wednesday (7.45pm).
Bromley supporters, however, will be hoping they are celebrating their team's success on Saturday night and are in the draw for the fourth qualifying round on Monday, knowing they are just one win away from a possible meeting with a Coca-Cola League club.
Sutton United v Bromley
FA Cup Third Qualifying Round
Saturday 16 October 2004
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Gander Green Lane, Sutton, Surrey