We want to make this a very good season, says Bromley manager Neil Smith
BROMLEY manager Neil Smith says he wants to make this a very good season for his home-town club.
The Lillywhites celebrated their maiden league win over Aldershot Town with a backs-against-the-wall 1-0 win at The Recreation Ground last night, courtesy of Jack Holland’s deflected near-post header following Frankie Raymond’s 28th minute corner.
It would be fair to say that Bromley would have come away with a point last season.
Bromley are unbeaten after four league games and sit in the top five in the Vanarama National League table with eight points from four games and Smith’s side are now six games unbeaten, including last season.
Bromley's first win over Aldershot Town? Bromley reached the Isthmian League Cup two-legged semi-finals in the 1998-99 season. They lost 3-1 at Hayes Lane and were leading 2-0 at The Recreation Ground in the Second Leg, only for Gary Abbott to score in extra-time to send George Borg's side into the Final, which they won by beating Boreham Wood 2-1 in Southampton.
Bromley finished bottom of the Isthmian Premier Division at the end of the season!
How times change!
Smith praised the 93 fans whom travelled to Hampshire on a Tuesday night to support their team to watch a rare win over the Shots.
He said: “I say it every week, they are amazing! They don’t know how important they are to us. Even the number that came, we really appreciate the fact that they travelled here and got behind us and we’ve given something to go back with as well.
“I want that every week. I know they’ll be travelling up to Hartlepool and we’ll make sure that they get their money’s worth out of us.
“We want to make this a very good season and we’re going to need their backing 100% - even when times aren’t going great.”
Solihull Moors are top of the Vanarama National League table with 10 points on the board from their four outings.
FC Halifax Town, Woking and Dover Athletic all follow on nine points, Bromley and AFC Fylde are both on eight, while Yeovil Town are one of four sides on seven points.
Bromley travel to seventeenth-placed Hartlepool United on Saturday and Smith revealed his feelings about having to play eight games in August and six in September.
He said: “It’s mental! By the end of August you’ve played eight games, by the end of September you’re a quarter the way through the season. It’s ridiculous!
“That’s why we’ve got to be careful with the squad and if we can rest players we can. I don’t want to because you’ve got to get them through that first month.
“If we can get them through that first month with no injuries, it’s been a result, but in the meantime we still got to get results as well.”
Bromley took seven games to bank their first nine points last season and they travel up to Hartlepool United looking to pull off another scalp on Saturday.
“We’re not counting our chickens, we’re not saying we’ve cracked it,” said Smith.
“It’s going to be hard work every game. You’ve just seen a team throwing everything at us and we’ve managed to bounce them off.
“We’ve got another tough game on Saturday. Our boys will have a couple of days rest because we’re going into the bank holiday weekend where I’ve got to call upon every one of my squad players.
“I should have players’ back as well so we’re fully fit. No one has complained about anything in there and it’s going to be another very difficult side. They’re a side that like to play, play it down and play. We’re going to be at our very best and have to be at our very best to get a result up there.”
Meanwhile, BT Sport are screening a documentary on five National League managers tonight on BT Sport 2 at 10:45pm "The Gaffer", going inside the dressing rooms at Bromley, Eastleigh, Harrogate Town, Hartlepool United and Maidstone United and revealing how the managers switch off from the pressures of the job.
Whatever Smith said to his boys’ at half-time certainly worked! They put in a resilient defensive display, frustrated Aldershot Town on their own patch and are going to enjoy their best ever season dining at non-league’s top table.
Visit Bromley’s website: www.bromleyfc.tv
Hartlepool United v Bromley
Vanarama National League
Saturday 17 August 2019
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Victoria Park, Clarence Road, Hartlepool, TS24 8BZ