We’re going to have to do something special on the day and Peterborough have to have an off-day. If that happens then hopefully the gods are smiling on us, says Bromley boss Neil Smith
BROMLEY manager Neil Smith says he wants to put his little club on the map by creating a FA Cup giant-killing act by beating Peterborough United in the First Round on Saturday.
The Ravens have endured plenty of FA Cup heartbreak at this stage over the years and Smith is keen to end 73 years of hurt, against Steve Evans’ men at a packed Hayes Lane.
Peterborough United are in third-place in the Sky Bet League One table with 33 points on the board from 17 games. Portsmouth are top of the pile on 38 points, followed by Sunderland on 35 points but with a game in hand.
Full-time Bromley are two levels lower than The Posh and are in fourteenth-place in the Vanarama National League table with 23 points from their 19 league outings.
They warmed up with a 4-0 home win over Hartlepool United last Saturday, before Smith rung the changes for a 4-1 home win over Faversham Town in the Kent Senior Cup Second Round on Tuesday night.
“They were brilliant! I said when the boys perform together as team, as a unit, I truly believe we can beat anyone and we proved it on Saturday,” said Smith.
“It was a total contrast to the week before (losing 4-2 at home to second-from-bottom side Braintree Town).”
Smith gave his younger members of his squad a run-out against Clive Walker’s Bostik South East Division side in midweek, watched by a low turnout of 118.
“The likes of Kyle De Silva had a good run out and scored two goals. Jonny Goddard got 90 minutes under his belt and it was great having Alan Dunne back,” said Smith.
“We didn’t really need the game if I’ve got to be brutally honest but there were positives that we bled some young players to give them their debuts, which is the reason why we have the Academy and the under 23 to get to the first team, so to have so many finishing the game was very, very good and pleasing.”
The Posh were defeated 1-0 away to Wycombe Wanderers last weekend and are formidable opponents for Bromley, who have struggled against League One sides over the years. Last season they suffered a 4-0 defeat at Rochdale.
But it’s The FA Cup and anything can happen!
“I’m excited, a bit like everybody else, the anticipation of pitting yourself against someone of the experience of Steve Evans,” said Smith.
“The pressure’s going to be on Peterborough and there will be a full house of Bromley supporters again getting behind us and acting as the 12th man for us.
“Our 3G pitch is an advantage and we have got to use it. The fact of a matter is they’re sitting third in the table behind a team like Sunderland and a team like Portsmouth so we’re under no illusions that they’re going to be a strong outfit. Whether we were playing on a muddy pitch, their pitch, or a 3G, it’s going to be no difference to the type of quality player that we’re playing. If we can use that to our advantage, of course we will.
“I’m expecting a very, very tough game. They’ve got Matt Godden, a very good forward and Alex Woodyard, who we know playing in the (National League for Lincoln City), who is a good player, England C international.
“They’re going to come here and all the pressure is on them rather than us. Hopefully we can make it a giant-killing because that’s what it will be but we know it’s going to be very, very tough.”
Smith criticised the television companies for shunning his home-town club and is keen to proving them wrong.
“I am disappointed in respect of the traditions of the club. It’s non-league and a smaller club beating the bigger teams, the David-v-Goliaths.
“We’re playing a team at home, we’re a small club and we’ve got Peterborough, who are sitting third in the table and they’ve decided to go for other League clubs.
“I did say this was one of the favourites that would have got television coverage. We are disappointed but let’s hope we can get something and it’s their loss then.
Bromley suffered a heartbreaking FA Trophy Final defeat to Vanarama National League North side Brackley Town at Wembley Stadium on penalties on 20 May 2018 and a win over Peterborough United will be their first over a League club in The FA Cup and their first win at this stage since 1945.
“I had a meeting with the boys today and last season I said I wanted to get to Wembley. Last time was a similar sort of age (1949, beating Romford 1-0 to win The FA Amateur Cup at Wembley Stadium) so a whole generation or two missed it,” said Smith.
“I want to give them something. I want to be the first once since then, this term, to get through to the Second Round.
“I’ve always said if you go into something make sure you always put a marker down and I’ve got a chance to, the players and the squad.
“We have got a chance of putting little Bromley on the map again and getting a giant-killing and getting into the Second Round for the first time in 73 years.”
Saturday’s game is a SOLD-OUT ALL-TICKET affair and with Hayes Lane a three-sided ground due to stadium improvements, Smith has called on Bromley fans to pack the iconic 80-year old stadium to create some more history for the famous club.
“We’re going to need every one of them. Whenever someone does something good or makes a mistake, get behind them,” Smith told the Hayes Lane faithful.
“The fans have been so vital for us. We have to make it a bit of a cauldron for Peterborough. We have to make sure that we give them something, as a football team of course, but supporters can generate that little bit of atmosphere as well and make it intimidating then they’ve earnt their prize of getting through to the next round.
“I’ve said it since I’ve walked through the door, I’d love to get through to the next round and have that run.
“But in all realistic terms these are a fantastic team. We’re going to have to do something special on the day and they have to have an off-day. If that happens then hopefully the gods are smiling on us and we get that little bit of luck as well, that’s what we want. We’re after getting a result, not losing and see where we go from there.”
Six-goal on-loan striker Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe has been ruled out as his parent club Colchester United have refused Bromley permission to play him in The FA Cup.
Bromley’s FA Cup Heartbreak:
Reached the Second Round:
1937-38 – Away – Scarborough – Lost 1-4
1938-39 – Away – Lincoln City – Lost 1-8
1945-46 – Home - Watford – Lost 1-3 and Drew 1-1 (away)
Reached the First Round:
1938-38 – Away – King’s Lynn – Won 4-0
1938-39 – Home - Apsley – Won 2-1
1945-46 – Home - Slough United - Won 6-1 and Lost 0-1 (away)
1947-48 – Home - Reading – Draw 3-3 and Lost 0-3 (away)
1949-50 – Home - Watford – Lost 1-2
1950-51 – Away – Aldershot – Draw 2-2 and Lost 0-1 (away)
1951-52 – Away – Torquay United – Lost 2-3
1976-77 – Away – Swindon Town – Lost 0-7
1996-97 – Home – Enfield – Lost 1-3
Reached the First Round as a Conference South Club (having to win three games to get there):
2006-07 – Away – Gillingham – Lost 1-4
2009-10 – Home – Colchester United – Lost 0-4
2011-12 – Away – Leyton Orient – Lost 0-3
2012-13 – Away – Fleetwood Town – Lost 0-3
2014-15 – Home – Dartford – Lost 3-4
Reached the First Round as a National League club (having to win one game to get there):
2017-18 – Away – Rochdale – Lost 0-4
2018-19 – Home – Peterborough United
Visit Bromley’s website: www.bromleyfc.co.uk
Bromley v Peterborough United
The Emirates FA Cup First Round
Saturday 10 November 2018
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Hayes Lane, Bromley, Kent BR2 9EF