Bromley boss Neil Smith: I want to take this club into the League, whether it’s this season or in two years’ time, I don’t know at this moment in time

Thursday 19th October 2017

BROMLEY manager Neil Smith says he wants to guide his home-town club into the English Football League.

The Ravens booked their place in The FA Cup First Round after beating Dover Athletic 3-0 at Hayes Lane on Tuesday night after coming away from Crabble with a goal-less draw at the weekend.

Without a recognised striker in the team owing to Brett Williams picking up a suspension for picking up his fifth yellow card on the Kent coast and with George Porter on the sidelines through injury, genius Smith pulled off a tactical masterstroke.

Smith utilised Jack Holland’s versatility, playing the central defender up front, while Daniel Johnson slotted in beside Roger Johnson at the heart of defence.

Both sides cancelled each other out until the final twenty minutes as Josh Rees headed in Frankie Raymond’s corner before Holland released Adam Mekki who drove home before substitute Louis Dennis rolled in a third at the death.

Bromley’s reward is a trip to Sky Bet League One strugglers Rochdale in The First Round.

The club have the players at Hayes Lane to pull off a giant-killing act against a side in the bottom five in their division.

Bromley will know by lunchtime tomorrow wherever they play at Spotland on Saturday 4 November or Sunday 5 November.

BBC Two will screen Hyde United’s tie against Milton Keynes Dons live on Friday, 4 November – no surprise there as the BBC are based in nearby Salford.

BT Sport have selected the ties between Shaw Lane Association against Mansfield Town (Saturday 4 November at 12:30pm) and a Monday night tie between Chorley Town and Fleetwood Town.

Those club’s will scoop £67,500 each in FA live broadcast fees.

However, details of the full schedule for the First Round including matches that have been moved to the Sunday (14:00) for extended highlights, single camera footage and overseas broadcast coverage will be confirmed by lunchtime tomorrow.

Heybridge Swifts’ trip to Exeter City and Sutton United’s trip to Cambridge United have already been confirmed as Sunday fixtures.

Bromley return to Vanarama National League action on Saturday when third-placed Woking visit Hayes Lane.

“My first priority is Woking FC. I know it’s a cliché but I have to worry about that,” said Smith, a fans favourite at Kingfield during his time there as a player.

“I want us to keep this four match unbeaten run going.  We know it’s going to be difficult but the focus is on Woking now, my old club.

“Again, they’re flying high, they’re third in the table. They’ve hit a bit of form.

“I think it should be a good game.  I think for the neutral they like to get it down and play, like we do, so I think in terms of that, I think it will be a cracking game to watch but again I want to win.”

Bromley go into the game sitting in seventh-place in the table with 24 points on the board from their 15 league outings, four points adrift of Woking.

After the euphoria of sending Dover Athletic crashing out of The FA Cup, Smith wants more great nights at Hayes Lane.

When asked how far he can take Bromley, Smith replied: “As far as I want to! I want to take them to the top, that’s my ambition!  It’s going to be difficult, I want to get into the League. I want to take this club into the League, whether it’s this season or in two years’ time, I don’t know at this moment in time.

“I want to that them as far as I can.  We came tenth last year in difficult circumstances, I want to better that.  The play-offs go to seventh now so that’s the first target but ultimately I want to make sure we’re safe (from relegation) as early as we can and we can give something a go.

“It’s such an open division any one team that puts a run together can go wherever they want to go. It will be difficult but we’ve got to stop that win two, lose two. We’ve got to get a bit of consistency and over the last few weeks we’ve seen that in the bit of steel that we probably missed earlier on in the season.”

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Bromley  v  Woking
Vanarama National League
Saturday 21st October 2017
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Hayes Lane, Bromley, Kent BR2 9EF