I'm asking a lot of my players - we're overachieving by a million percent, says Bromley boss Neil Smith

Thursday 24th October 2019

BROMLEY manager Neil Smith says his side are overachieving by a million percent this season.

The Lillywhites welcome league leaders FC Halifax Town to Hayes Lane on Saturday, with both sides locked on 32 points from their first 17 league games.

Bromley reached The FA Cup First Round for the eighth time in 13 years after beating their league rivals Aldershot Town 4-3 at Hayes Lane last weekend.

Smith will take his side to League One side Bristol Rovers in the First Round aiming to become the first Bromley manager to reach the Second Round for the first time since 1945.

“They can enjoy the fact that we’re in the next round, they can enjoy the plaudits but we have to be a lot better than that against a Halifax side sitting top of the league,” said Smith.

“I’m asking a lot of my players. I’d rather have the big games, rather be where we are than a relegation fight.  No one expected us to be there, we’re overachieving by a million percent!

“But why you’re there, you want to stay in and around it and do the best we can and take us as far as we can but it will be difficult.”

Smith recalls Reeco Hackett-Fairchild, Michael Klass and Billy Bingham into his squad for this top-of-the-table-clash at Hayes Lane.

“So I gain three players, they’re all fit to play so all off a sudden I’ve got a stronger squad,” added Smith.

Bristol Rovers suffered their first home league defeat of the season when they went down to a surprise 2-0 defeat to basement side Bolton Wanderers on Tuesday night.

Bromley were today ignored by the television companies for the four live games over First Round weekend but Smith wants to guide his home-town club to the Second Round and beat Football League opposition for the first time in The FA Cup.

“I said it to Jerry (Dolke), I’d love to do it for Jerry, obviously handing it over to Robin Stanton-Gleaves as the chairman. It will be nice to get into the Second Round and sign it off with a nice draw,” added Smith.

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 – Lost 1-3
2019-20 – Away – Bristol Rovers -

Visit Bromley’s website: www.bromleyfc.tv

Bromley  v  FC Halifax Town
Vanarama National League
Saturday 26 October 2019
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Hayes Lane, Bromley, Kent BR2 9EF