Bromley 1 Fisher Athletic 2

Tuesday 17th January 2006

Chris Piper 20 (og)

Chris Piper 43
Hamid Barr 77 (pen)

Stephen McCartney reports from the Courage Stadium, Hayes Lane
Ryman Premier League

Billy Smith insists Bromley will finish in the top half of the Ryman Premier League table - despite his side currently flirting with relegation.

The joint-manager saw his side put on a brave performance despite losing 2-1 to Fisher Athletic - who moved up to second place - in front of their second highest league crowd of the season at Hayes Lane.

Although Bromley are in 15th place - above Kent rivals Folkestone Invicta and Margate - they’re only three points above fourth from bottom side Hendon.

Bromley made two changes from the side that beat Walton & Hersham 1-0 on Saturday, thus ending their run of nine league games without a win.

Striker Ellis Remy, who scored five goals from 12 starts for Margate earlier in the season, was handed his debut.

Remy, who played under Bromley boss George Wakeling at Hastings United, has been training with Nationwide Conference side Dagenham & Redbridge since his departure from Hartsdown Park last month.

Things started well for Bromley tonight when experienced striker Mark Tompkins chested a long free-kick from his goalkeeper Andy Walker and having turned his marker his 20-yard shot bounced agonisingly wide of the far post.

Tompkins played a key role that helped his side open the scoring after 20 minutes. He exchanged passes with Colin Luckett - both of whom are former Fisher players - down the left and Tompkins whipped over a cross to an unmarked Allan McLeod on the other side of the pitch.

The right wing-back sent over a cross into the six-yard box, which came off Fisher skipper Chris Piper’s knee and crept inside the near post.

Fisher, who passed the ball well on an excellent playing surface, came close eight minutes later but Steve Watts’ 20-yard drive on the left cannoned off the base of the far post.

Charlie Hearn wasn’t far off with another effort from outside the penalty area, which flew over the bar.

Chris Piper, however, made amends two minutes before the break when he fired into the bottom right hand corner following a one-two with Steve West.

Damian Scannell drove into the side netting after just 12 seconds into the second half, after the dreadlocked winger cut in from the left past full-back McLeod.

Bromley substitute Barry Gardner had his side’s best chance on the hour mark. Picking up the ball inside his own half, he rode three challenges before unleashing a 25-yard right-footed drive, which flashed agonisingly wide of the right upright.

Another substitute, Sam Wood started a move that gave the Ravens another good chance - which they failed to take.

Playing a square pass to Gary Drewett, the former Kingstonian and Sutton United midfielder carved open a good chance for Remy, but the debutant lacked conviction and fired wide.

But when Joe Vines fouled Fisher substitute Charlie Taylor, after he brushed past Des Boateng on the left hand side of the penalty area, all Bromley’s hard work was undone and former Tonbridge Angels’ player-manager Hamid Barr tucked home the penalty, sending Walker the wrong way with thirteen minutes remaining.

Remy had a late chance for the home side when he failed to hit the target, following Billy Hardings’ cross by the corner flag.

Smith, meanwhile, was left to rue their third home defeat of the season.

“It’s been our story for a long while now - we’re losing by the odd goal,” he told

“We’re giving away silly goals in a lot of games - it seems to be the deciding goal all the time.”

But the experienced manager was pleased with his side’s performance, against a big-spending side.

“We always knew it would be a good game, baring in mind we’re playing a team that have got five or six times our budget,” he said.

“We’ve been struggling with injuries, (Top scorer with 17-goals) Nic McDonnell should be back in two weeks and with him out it was always going to leave us a bit short up front. Midfielder Adam Locke is out for at least a month.

“I thought the boy Ellis done okay tonight, without looking as though he was going to score but he held the ball up well. Once we get Nic back we’ll start scoring goals again.”

Bromley travel to two sides that are below them in the table this week - at Maldon Town on Saturday and Harrow Borough next Tuesday.

“One our day they’re teams we can beat,” insisted Smith. He added: “Maybe one or two injuries are clearing up. Hopefully Sam Wood will be able to start as he makes such a tremendous difference when he’s on the park.”

The club have good chances of winning silverware this season, having reached the quarter-finals of both the Kent Senior Cup and Westview Cup.

Bromley travel to Nationwide Conference South neighbours Welling United on 31st January in the county cup and host Wealdstone on 21st February in the League Cup.

In fact, Wings boss Adrian Pennock was in the crowd of 510 watching tonight’s pulsating local derby.

“We are looking for a top half finish, no doubt about that and hopefully pick up one of the cups. That’s always been our aim from day one,” said Smith.

“I’ve got to be honest I never felt we were going to win the league, baring in mind Bromley have been in the lower division for a few years.

“It’s quite a hard league, you can see it’s a much better league from last year - the forwards are certainly better and take their chances and every game is not easy.

“I think we can finish in the top half and hopefully win a cup - I’ll settle for that.”

Bromley: Andy Walker, Allan McLeod (Barry Gardner 55), Colin Luckett, Tutu Henriques, Mark Willy (Capt), Des Boateng, Danny Carroll (Sam Wood 45), Gary Drewett, Mark Tompkins (Billy Harding 71), Ellis Remy, Joe Vines. Subs: Job Feumba, Jones Awuah

Fisher Athletic: James Pullen, Chris Piper (Capt), Ahmed Deen, Nick Davis, Francis Duku, Junior Kadi (Hamid Barr 63), Charlie Hearn, Michael Smith (Lenny Piper 50), Steve West (Charlie Taylor 75), Steve Watts, Damian Scannell. Subs: Yinka Saleey, Carlton Murray-Price

Attendance: 510
Referee: Mr M Yerby
Assistants: Mr C Hatsidakos & Mr J Garratt