Thursday 25th March 2004

Bromley sign proven goalscorer Watson from Lewes

BROMLEY manager Stuart McIntyre revealed proven goalscorer Mark Watson has joined the club and will make his debut in Saturday's home Ryman League Division One South clash against Bracknell Town, writes Stephen McCartney.

The signing of the former Aldershot Town and Sutton United striker from fellow division rivals Lewes, will be a welcomed boost to the Hayes Lane club after losing midfielder Kevin George to Nationwide League side Lincoln City on Wednesday.

McIntyre admitted he was disappointed losing George after the former Grimsby Town and Wimbledon midfielder was starting to show how good he can be, during his seven appearances for the club.  His only goal for Bromley came in the recent 3-0 victory against struggling Corinthian-Casuals.

McIntyre said: "In some ways we're disappointed to lose Kevin George.  He has just started to show what he is capable off.  I think he found non-league football a little bit harder than he expected, but he has a chance to go full-time, his game will improve, and I really wish him well."

However, ninth placed Bromley, who have plans to finish in the top seven in the table, have acted quickly with the capture of striker Watson and McIntyre is thankful to Lewes manager Steven King for releasing the player before next week's transfer deadline to enable one of the biggest clubs in the league fulfill their plans.

McIntyre said: "At the moment we're concentrating getting the squad's atmosphere up and to ensure they are focused and we signed Mark Watson from Lewes tonight.

"He has been at Lewes for the past three months having left Sutton United as they were in midtable.  The challenge of helping Lewes win the league was his attraction but he found the traveling down to Lewes a little bit difficult.

"We got wind of it, and Lewes manager Steven King, to be fair, has done me a really good favour because he has released him and enabled us to sign him before the transfer deadline."

Bracknell Town are the visitors to Hayes Lane on Saturday, but McIntyre will be without two influential players, competitive midfielder, Paul Kember and left back Michael Harney are both suffering with hamstring injuries.  The rest of the squad, however, are all raring to go.

As Bromley bid to collect a crucial three points on Saturday, McIntrye admitted: "It doesn't matter who we are playing, the importance of getting points is there for everybody to see.

"But we've got to keep believing because there are eight league games and if teams above us were to lose just two games, and we win two, it will make a massive difference."

Despite losing 5-0 at home to Folkestone Invicta in the semi-finals of the Kent Senior Cup in midweek, the Bromley boss praised the club's supporters for their support throughout the entire game.

At a Manager's Forum recently, McIntyre pleaded with the club's supporters to get behind their team from the moment they run onto the pitch until the final whistle.

McIntyre praised: "The fans were absolutely fantastic on Tuesday, but for a couple of individual errors, and maybe a referee decision, the game could have gone a completely different way.

"We missed some good chances and let in soft goals, not a good combination", said the Scot.

Despite conceding five goals in the county cup defeat, goalkeeper Danny Harwood, who has made 252 appearances for the Hayes Lane club, will keep his place in goal against Bracknell.

The manager is looking at Harwood's character to see if he bounces back and proves he should remain as the club's number one goalkeeper.

This season Harwood has seen of Dean Mann, who made only two appearances before returning to Go Travel Kent League side Cray Wanderers and Glen Knight, who joined Bromley on loan from Dagenham & Redbridge, making three appearances before being recalled by the Nationwide Conference club.

Knight has since moved to Erith & Belvedere as a coach, as a knee injury will stop him playing for the remainder of the season, to help out their new manager Kevin Hales.

McIntyre said: "At the moment Danny Harwood will be in goal on Saturday.  There is nothing on the horizon that will change that.  Danny is obviously feeling a little pressure because for the first time some of the fans are not quite backing him.

"This is  the first time, I think, since he joined the club in February 1999, that he has experienced this.  This will be a challenge for him because I think people realise we were playing well against Folkestone Invicta until the first goal went in, and it wasn't a good goal.

"The game changed after that, Folkestone's confidence went through the roof and ours took a bashing because of a soft goal.

"So characters have to shine, and Danny will hopefully shine on Saturday", hoped the manager.

Bromley  vs  Bracknell Town, Saturday 27 March 2004, 3pm @ The Clive Christian Stadium, Hayes Lane, Bromley, Ryman Football League Division One South

Admission prices: £7 (adults) £4 (OAP) £1 (Under 16)