Thursday 01st September 2005
Hero Huggins gives Bromley a deserved second chance
Bromley 1-1 Thurrock
FA Cup Third Qualifying Round
Saturday 11 October 2003
by Stephen McCartney -
Bromley make the trip through the Dartford tunnel on Tuesday evening to face Thurrock in the replay and they will know their prize as the fourth and final qualifying round draw takes place on Monday.
Bromley manager Stuart McIntyre admitted before the game his side were the underdogs and that his side will give a good account of themselves.
Bromley certainly did, in an FA Cup tie that had everything.  The Bromley public came out in force to cheer on their side.  It was such a shame, Thurrock, seventh in the Ryman League Premier Division, only brought a handful of followers.
Had the Essex side brought the same following as Dartford, who Bromley despatched 3-0 in the last round, then Hayes Lane would have been even more electrifying.
Thurrock goalkeeper, Paul Gothard, 29, a hero for Dagenham & Redbridge earlier in his career, was a relieved man when he back peddled to see Dean Forbes' header go narrowly over the crossbar and  another header, this time from Adolph Amoako suffer the same feat.
Sandwiched between these two good chances for Bromley was Steve Heffer's chance that clipped the angle of left post and crossbar after fifteen minutes.
Bromley's South African defender, Steve Potterill was flashed a red card by referee Andy Legg after 27 minutes as he went to, but didn't make contact with, Thurrock's former Ford United defender Dave Collis on the right by-line.
It was Potterill's second red card of the season, and time for Bromley to roll up their sleeves for the remaining sixty three minutes of the game.
On the stroke of half time, Colin Luckett's cross found Forbes but his header lacked power and Gothard managed a comfortable save at his near post.
Thurrock's Kris Lee weakly headed wide of the left post, when left unmarked inside Bromley's penalty area following Cliff Akurang's cross from the left.
In fact, Thurrock's Akurang (12 goals) and Trevor Kandol (7 goals) didn't shine and both were substituted by their manager Colin McBride within 21 minutes of the second half for not troubling their Ryman League Division One South underdogs.
Gothard saved his side within six minutes of the second half blocking Leroy Huggins low shot after beating the visiting defence.
Two minutes later, Akurang dragged a poor shot well wide of Bromley's right post before Lee lifted a shot over Bromley's crossbar just after the hour mark.
Thurrock substitute Paul Linger scored the visitors goal after 65 minutes.
Danny Harwood had to back-peddle to his far post, from Heffer's cross and Linger headed home from close range at the far post.
It was the first time Harwood had conceded a goal in 599 minutes of football.
Lee screwed a shot wide of the left post from eighteen yards a minute after the goal before Gothard plucked Luckett's free kick out of the air after 68 minutes from 23 yards after Paul Kember's surge was ended by an obstruction.
With nineteen minutes left on the clock, Bromley boss Stuart McIntyre replaced Adolph Amoako for Tony Reid, and this gave the Ravens added strength in the forward line.
With time ticking away, Huggins made a run with the ball down the left flank, played a low pass for Gary Drewett and the talented midfielder blasted over Gothard's bar.
Collis was given his marching orders with two minutes left on the clock for taking out Huggins 25 yards from goal.
Bromley's fans were a credit to the club, for their vocal support and passion throughout the game, and urged their team on.
Luckett's left footed free kick was comfortably saved by Gothard on his goalline after 89 minutes.
A minute into stoppage time, the majority of the 461 crowd looked to the heavens when Danny Smith's hanging header appeared to have found the left corner, but clipped the left upright and at this point the Bromley fans probably knew the Essex side had committed daylight robbery.
But the FA Cup is a magical competition and in the fifth minute into stoppage time, passions went wild when Bromley scored, what was, a well-deserved and well taken goal.
Luckett, a hero in Kingstonian's FA Cup and FA Trophy runs, delivered a magical cross from the left.  Reid headed the ball into Huggins path.
From six yards out his shot crashed into the top right hand corner of the net, hitting the stanchion before crashing back onto the pitch.  Hayes Lane roared into ecstasy, Huggins ran wild, the referee didn't know what to award and had to rely on his assistant to finally award the goal.
A tired Huggins said after the game: "I thought we done well today we played well and we gave it our all and there is much more to give."
Huggins admitted he knew his shot, had found the back of the net, when Referee Andy Legg wasn't sure.  Huggins said: "I saw the ball go in, and it was a relief but sometimes the match officials don't see them go in and to tell the truth they could have disallowed it."
Huggins thanked Tony Reid for setting up two goals for him in Bromley's last two games.  He added: "It was one of those where Tony (Reid) done it in the last game (against Dartford in the 3-2 Kent Senior Cup win).  He knocked the ball down to me and as a striker its down to me to get in the box and finish it off, and that's what I did."
Reid added: "I thought the opposition were going to be a big, passing team, but after the first fifteen minutes we looked at them and their game was the long ball route.  We knew we were much better than them even with ten men.
"I thought we dropped our heads for five minutes after Thurrock scored, but I think we are pleased as we could have won this game."
Reid admits Bromley could win the replay on Tuesday, and urges all Bromley fans to get to the game to cheer the Ravens into the last qualifying round.
He urged: "The support was absolutely brilliant, and I hope we get the same fans at Thurrock on Tuesday to support the boys.  If you do, there will be a great result for us!" 
The final whistle was met by scenes of jubilation, and Bromley travel to Thurrock on Tuesday night with the knowledge of which team will face this talented, brave, determined Bromley side in the final qualifying round.
Who said the magic of the FA Cup has died?
Bromley: Danny Harwood, Steve Potterill (sent off 27), Mark Willy, Danny Smith, Colin Luckett, Dean Forbes (Capt), Gary Drewett, Paul Kember, Leroy Huggins, Adolph Amoako (Tony Reid 71), Mark Hammond (Jason McKoy 62).  Subs: Rob O'Hara (GK), Michael Harney, Grant Watts
Thurrock:  Paul Gothard, Michael Basham (John Purdie 48) Mark Goodfellow, Dave Collis (sent off 88), Jimmy McFarlane (Capt), Gary Howard, Martyn Lawrence, Steve Heffer, Kris Lee, Trevor Kandol (Paul Linger 58), Cliff Akurang (Terry Bowes 66).  Subs:  Jason Broom, John O'Brien
Referee: Andy Legg
Assistants: Mr D Sheldrake and Mr R Baker
Attendance: 461
Bromley travel to Thurrock  on Tuesday evening (7.30pm) for the FA Cup Third Qualifying Round replay.  The match will be decided on the night, with extra time and possibly penalty kicks needed to decide which club makes it into the fourth and final qualifying round.
The draw takes place on Monday (13th October).
Next Saturday, Bromley return to Ryman League Division One South action, at Leatherhead.   The Tanners play at Fetcham Grove, Guildford Road, Leatherhead,  and kick off is at 3.00pm
Bromley's next home game at the Clive Christian Stadium, Hayes Lane is on Tuesday 21 October (7.45pm) against Banstead Athletic in the Ryman League.