Bromley 3 Wealdstone 2 (Exclusive Interview)

Monday 27th February 2006

Adrian Stone 51
Sam Wood 60, 81

Graham Hall 27
Jermaine Beckford 55

Stephen McCartney reports from The Courage Stadium, Hayes Lane
Westview Cup Quarter-Final

Bromley stretched their unbeaten run to seven games and with it earned a place in the semi-finals of the Westview (Ryman League) Cup for the first time since 1999, when they lost 4-3 on aggregate to eventual winners, Aldershot Town.

A brace from influential winger Sam Wood helped George Wakeling’s men earn a two-legged clash with either Worthing or Billericay Town, who play their quarter-final tie at Woodside Park tomorrow night.

Wealdstone took the lead - against the run of play - after 27 minutes, when Graham Hall’s snap shot flew past goalkeeper Andy Walker and into the roof of the net - stunning Bromley’s lowest crowd of the season.

Bromley, making two changes to the side that defeated Hampton & Richmond Borough 2-0 on Saturday, dominated proceedings up until that point.

Gary Drewett tested Wealdstone goalkeeper Glenn Jackson after just eleven seconds and striker Donal O’Sullivan’s poorly struck left-footed 25-yard shot rolled into the grateful arms of the 22-year-old goalkeeper.

Another good chance fell Bromley’s way after 19 minutes when Drewett played a superb ball with the outside of his right-foot to send Sam Wood on his way down the left but he drove his shot wide of the far post from 15-yards.

The Stones, meanwhile, had a couple of chances when Jermiane Beckford, whose attracting several professional club’s scouts and SKY SPORTS to Hayes Lane, tried his luck from 25-yards but his shot flew high over Andy Walker’s bar.

Another chance came the North Londoners way three minutes later when John Christian spun past Danny Carroll but his right-footed drive rolled well wide of the far post.

The Stones’ opening goal, when Hall’s snap shot flew past Walker into the roof of the net, knocked the stuffing out of Bromley for the rest of the half and Beckford had another long range drive that went harmlessly wide of the right upright.

Both sides had chances on the stroke of half time. Barry Gardner’s corner was met by Tutu Henriques’ header at the far post, which was easily saved and at the other end Beckford dragged his shot wide of the far post.

Bromley midfielder Des Boateng brought a fine save from Jackson early in the second half, after he burst down the left and Wood’s fierce angled drive was well held by the goalkeeper at his near post.

But Adrian Stone, whose impressed since returning from his loan spell at Ashford Town, deservedly brought the home side level after 51 minutes, tapping home his tenth goal of the season (seven of them for Bromley) from six-yards following O’Sullivan’s low centre from the left.

Bromley’s joy, however, was short lived as Beckford’s looping header dropped into the bottom left corner to hand the visitors the lead just four minutes later to score his 35th goal of a very prolific season.

Wood netted his fifth goal of the season on the hour mark when he latched onto O’Sullivan’s pass, left his marker in his wake, took the ball around the goalkeeper and slotted home into an empty net.

O’Sullivan was making only his second appearance for Bromley tonight. The 24-year-old striker has played for Welling United and Ashford Town previously and the Sydenham resident joined his local club from troubled Combined Counties League outfit Southall.

The equaliser gave the home side extra impetus and got the small crowd behind them more.

Bromley’s skipper, Mark Willy met Wood’s corner, which was clawed out by Jackson before Boateng drove wide of the right upright from 20 yards.

Wealdstone missed a gilt-edged chance when Cooper’s shot rolled agonisingly wide of the far post after the 18-year-old former Tottenham youngster latched onto a pass from Phil Turner.

They were made to pay for that miss as Wood’s 25-yard screamer on the volley - following Jackson’s goal-kick - whistled into the bottom left hand corner to give Bromley a deserved winner with nine minutes left.

The Stones’ last chance came from Gary Burrell’s right-footed effort from 25-yards, which was never going to trouble Walker.

This result means Bromley are now in two semi-finals. They host Ryman League Division One leaders Ramsgate in the John Ullmann Kent Senior Cup next month and midfielder Danny Carroll is looking forward to having a chance of winning some silverware this season.

The 29-year-old said: “There’s no point playing if you don’t want to progress into the next round. (We’re in) two semi-finals, now pulling up in the league - things are looking much better.”

Carroll, who made his 70th appearance for the club tonight, explained his team-mates’ work ethic has helped them to go seven games unbeaten.

“Hard work, a bit more organisation and a bit more concentration at the back, but we’re still giving away sloppy goals though, so there’s still room for further improvement.”

The fans’ favourite, however, is looking forward to getting back to Ryman Premier League action on Saturday when third placed Heybridge Swifts visit Hayes Lane.

“It’s a tough game,” he admitted. “Their doing very well and are on a really good run.

“They’ve just signed (Richard) Jolly from Wealdstone, whose a really good centre forward so it will be a really good game.”

Carroll, who replaced youngster Adam Greenway in tonight's team, is also relishing their home clash with Ramsgate for a place in the Kent Senior Cup Final, which could be against Gravesend & Northfleet or Margate (who have won the competition three years running).

“Winning both cups would be nice, but we can’t get carried away,” warned Carroll.

“We have two tough semi-finals whoever we play in the League Cup and obviously Ramsgate are doing well in division one so that will be a tough game in the Kent Cup.”

* leant some EXCLUSIVE news tonight, but have been asked by the club to wait for their statement.

Bromley: Andy Walker, Danny Carroll, Colin Luckett, Tutu Henriques, Mark Willy (Capt), Barry Gardner, Gary Drewett, Des Boating (Allan McLeod 67), Donal O’Sullivan (Joe Vines 83), Sam Wood.
Subs: Panikos Oritis, Andy Silk

Wealdstone: Glenn Jackson, Lee Holland (Junior Thompson 80), Jamie Palmer, Graham Hall, Lee Chappell, John Christian, Josh Cooper, Jermaine Beckford, Phil Turner (Graeme Montgomery 80), Gary Burrell.
Subs: Richard Borton, Luke Smith, Luke Evans

Attendance: 182
Referee: Mr D Sheldrake
Assistants: Mr C Berry & Mr A Neil