Our defeat to Tranmere was really hard to take, admits Bromley boss Neil Smith

Monday 02nd October 2017

BROMLEY manager Neil Smith says he cannot stomach the way his side suffered a heartbreaking 1-0 defeat to Tranmere Rovers on Saturday.

James Norwood grabbed a last-gasp winner for Micky Mellon’s side in front of 2,056 fans at Hayes Lane.

Bromley’s second successive defeat sees them slip down to thirteenth-place in the Vanarama National League table with 18 points on the board from 13 games.

“The game on Saturday was really hard to take as the players’ had battled really hard and didn’t deserve to lose in what was a very tight game against one of the biggest clubs in our division,” reflected Smith.

“Bromley have come a long way in the two and a bit years, when we went toe-to-toe against Tranmere and didn’t get out-played.

“To gift the goal in the fourth minute of extra time was really hard to take.”

Smith takes his side to an old club on Tuesday night in the shape of in-form Maidstone United, who are now unbeaten in their last four games and came away from Barrow with a 1-0 win courtesy of Joe Pigot’s clincher.

Jay Saunders' side have risen up to fifth-place in the table with 22 points on the board and are a couple of points behind leaders Dover Athletic.

“We have to move on as we now come up against the form team in our division and local rivals Maidstone,” said Smith.

“They will have a big crowd getting behind them and we will need to be able to handle that.

“They have several players playing that this club know about but that goes out of the window once the game starts.

“It’ll be tough as they are really up and running and have added more names to their squad.”

Bromley travel to Gateshead on Saturday before travelling to current Vanarama National League leaders Dover Athletic in The FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round on 14 October.

Since their elevation into the top-flight of non-league football, the Ravens have lost to Eastleigh and Braintree Town at this stage of the competition, but Bromley did come away from Crabble with a 2-1 win when the two sides met in a league game on Tuesday, 8 August.

Smith said: “As a club we all wanted a home game for our supporters.  We didn’t get that and we’ve got a very tough game against Dover.

“Our games against each other are always tough and close.  We will have to be really on our game but we are looking forward to it as The FA Cup always brings surprises and that a non-league team can have a good run and we hope that’s us this year.”

Bromley’s last success in The FA Cup First Round was back in season 1945-46 when Slough United were beaten 6-2 on aggregate.

The Ravens have since lost to Reading (1947-48); Watford (1949-50); Aldershot (1950-51); Swindon Town (1976-77); Enfield (1996); Gillingham (2006); Colchester United (2009), Leyton Orient (2011), Fleetwood Town (2012) and Dartford (2014) in the First Round and Smith will be keen to send Chris Kinnear’s side crashing out of the competition and improve on his home-town club’s First Round record.

Visit Bromley’s website: www.bromleyfc.net

Maidstone United  v  Bromley
Vanarama National League
Tuesday 3rd October 2017
Kick off 7:45pm
at The Gallagher Stadium, James Whatman Way, Maidstone, Kent ME14 1LQ