To get a result at home against a team like Leyton Orient will just be absolutely dream world, says Bromley boss Neil Smith
BROMLEY manager Neil Smith says he is delighted that the club are locking horns with Leyton Orient at Hayes Lane on Tuesday night.
The two clubs last met in The FA Cup First Round back in November 2011 when Bromley were in 17th place in the Blue Square Bet Conference South and Leyton Orient were in 18th place in League One. The O’s comfortably won 3-0 at Brisbane Road that day.
The O’s were a kick away from winning promotion into the Championship in May 2014 but they lost 4-3 on penalties to Rotherham United in the League One Play-Off Final after a thrilling game at Wembley Stadium finished 2-2 after extra time.
The east London outfit have been in freefall ever since their heartbreak at Wembley Stadium. They suffered back-to-back relegations and lost their 112 year status as a Football League club at the end of last season.
Leyton Orient arrive at Hayes Lane sitting in fourth-place in the Vanarama National League table on six points.
They made their non-league debut with a 2-0 defeat at Sutton United but have won both of their home games, beating Solihull Moors 3-1 and at the weekend defeated Maidstone United 2-0.
Bromley are unbeaten going into this massive game, having been held to a goal-less draw at home to Eastleigh on the opening day of the season, before coming away from Dover Athletic with a 2-1 win and secured a point at Macclesfield Town with a goal-less draw at the weekend.
This time last season, Smith’s side were rooted to the foot of the Vanarama National League table without any points so progress has been made this time around.
The Ravens’ aims this season is to grab a top-seven place and qualify for the play-offs at the end of their third season at this level.
“The players all want to do better, there’s times when we could have scored and stuff like that but if someone said you’d be unbeaten going into the fourth game of the season I would have taken that knowing that we’ve had such a hard start,” said Smith.
Reflecting on their point gained at Macclesfield Town, Smith said: “Probably a fair result looking back on it. I was very frustrated during the game because I don’t think we got our game going to the full potential, like we did at times at Dover but it’s still early days, we’re still bedding in.
“We’re creating a few chances without being really open and we restricted them so going up to a team like Macclesfield, who missed out on the play-offs last year, I’ll take that away from home, you’ll take a point.
“If we weren’t creating chances then I’ll worry. The fact we’re keeping them down to a minimum, we can build from the back. We know we can do better up front, I’ve no doubt it will click very soon.”
The visit of Leyton Orient will grip the imagination of the Bromley football public and a crowd of at least 3,000 is expected for a big night of football at Hayes Lane.
“Yes, absolutely delighted that we’ve got a team like Leyton Orient coming down,” said Bromley resident Smith.
“We know it’s going to be difficult. We know it’s going to be a good crowd there and we put on a good show for our supporters.
“We’re not there to make the numbers up for Leyton Orient. It’s not about them, for me it’s about us.
“I think you’ve only got to see the league at the moment and there’s some really big club’s in there and we’re pitting ourselves against them week in week out. That’s what I want us to keep doing for as long as we can and push on to the next stage.”
The travelling O’s support will make this feel like a FA Cup tie but Smith has challenged the Hayes Lane faithful to give as good as they’ve got to make it one of those magical nights at the iconic stadium.
“The fans have been brilliant,” said Smith.
“As I said since the day I walked through the door, I can’t knock the supporters. They’ve always backed us, they’ve always been there and been supportive.
“We just want to give them everything and go away saying that the players have worked hard, whatever the result. We’ll want to make sure we put a shift in but to get a result at home against a team like Leyton Orient will just be absolutely dream world.
“We know it’s going be difficult. They had a good win against Maidstone and we’re preparing for that now.
Bromley welcome Leyton Orient and Hartlepool United at Hayes Lane this week and it certainly is a shock that these are actually league fixtures.
“We’re in it together, they’re in the same league as us, it’s not a cup game, it is what it is and we’ve got to make sure that we don’t get overawed. There will be a decent crowd, they’ll obviously bring a few as well. We can’t get overawed by them but we have to stick to our game plan and hope it pays off.
“The following game we’ve got Hartlepool. It’s coming thick and fast. It’s just one game out of 46 that we want to try to win.”
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Bromley v Leyton Orient
Vanarama National League
Tuesday 15th August 2017
Kick Off 7:45pm
at Hayes Lane, Bromley, Kent BR2 9EF