Friday 17th September 2004
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Bromley have bigger fish to fry

BROMLEY manager Stuart McIntyre is eagerly anticipating Saturday’s FA Cup First Qualifying Round tie against Fisher Athletic, writes Stephen McCartney.

The two sides have already met this season, albeit in a pre-season friendly, which the Fish won 3-1, played on poor pitch conditions at Greenwich Borough’s Harrow Meadow ground.

McIntyre, however, is hoping a little bit of luck and his side performing to their capabilities will see his side through into Monday’s draw for the next round – and picking up a cheque for £2,250 in the process.

Fisher are everyone’s title favourites at the start of the season, with big named players – on big money – being signed and they stormed through their opening six Southern League Division One East fixtures – winning them all.

However, any thoughts of going on a record breaking run, just like Arsenal, were dealt a massive blow when Wayne Burnett’s side lost 3-1 at Waltham Forest last Saturday.

McIntyre, however, hopes his side can rise to the FA Cup occasion, cheered on by many travelling supporters, making the familiar trip to Champion Hill, the home of Ryman League Division One rivals, Dulwich Hamlet.

McIntyre said: “I really hope there are a lot of Bromley people there and the atmosphere really works for us.

“We’ve got every chance to outnumber Fisher even though they are at home.”

Fisher will attract their biggest gate of the season against McIntyre’s men as they only average 110 in the Southern League - their highest gate saw 135 flock through the Champion Hill turnstiles.

McIntyre added: “In the last couple of season’s we’ve done quite well on Dulwich’s pitch – hopefully that continues tomorrow!”

“We are all looking forward to the game.  Fisher are flying.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity for us to play against them and just see where we are at the moment,” said the Scot.

Bromley come into the game on the back of a 1-0 loss at Hastings United last Saturday, and a 1-1 home draw against Corinthian Casuals in midweek.

Casuals equalised six minutes from time, and McIntyre admitted: “It was a game we should have won comfortably.

“We had more than enough chances and one painful lapse of concentration from the whole team to let one goal in late in the game.”

His side, however, always create a host of chances, but it’s putting them away and finishing team’s off which is an issue for the manager at the moment.

Speaking about the chances they missed at Hastings last weekend, McIntyre said: “They weren’t just half chances, they were good chances and the most disappointing thing, not just for me, but for the rest of the team is when you create such openings and they don’t go in.

“The supporters must be thinking we are rubbish at the moment, but we are not that far away.”

McIntyre revealed exclusively to www.kentishfootball.co.uk his latest signing and two players being shown the door due to a lack of first team opportunities.

Central midfielder Gavin Rose, who played for Bromley for a very short time at the beginning of season 1999-2000, under former manager Frank Coles, when McIntyre was assistant manager at Hayes Lane, has returned.

Rose played for Carshalton Athletic last season but after getting injured he hasn’t turned out for anybody so far this season.

McIntyre revealed he has kept in touch with the player regarding his progress in the last couple of years and Rose looked very sharp in training on Thursday night.

Leaving the club is young striker Paul “Charlie” Vines and central defender Dean Frost.

McIntyre explained the reasons why the duo have left the club.

“Mainly their own frustrations of not being regular starters, we have mutually decided that things have changed.”

Vines’ opportunities have been limited with the return of striker Leroy Huggins – ironically from tomorrow’s opponents Fisher Athletic.

“Leroy has had a couple of games to find his feet having not played much for Fisher this season.

“On Tuesday his play was sharp and strong, other than one notable one-on-one but I am confident Leroy will again be a big asset.”

Huggins scored eight goals in sixteen appearances for the Hayes Lane outfit at the beginning of last season.

“Tomorrow will be a fantastic opportunity for some of my players to show what we have been doing this year.

“Fisher are a very good side. I’ve watched them twice this year, and we’ve played them in a pre-season friendly, but there is something I’ve spotted, we are going to work at, and if we get it right and with the little bit of luck that you need, then who knows!”

McIntyre has players in his squad that can score 20-goals a season, and is confident Huggins can score the goals alongside strikers Mark Watson and Adolph Amoako.

“Mark Watson has family commitments and Adolph Amoako’s just hit a little barren spell and Leroy Huggins has just re-joined us and he was at Fisher – it’s a big game for him tomorrow!

“We’ve got people who can score goals, we just need to be a little bit patient and I think it will come right for us.

“We are not a bad side – we go into the game optimistically.”

If a replay is required, it will take place at The Clive Christian Stadium, Hayes Lane, Bromley next Tuesday 21st September (7.45pm).

Fisher Athletic vs Bromley
FA Cup First Qualifying Round
Saturday 18 September 2004
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Dulwich Hamlet FC, Champion Hill, East Dulwich