BROMLEY AT WEMBLEY: It's very unlikely that something like this will happen again, says goalkeeper David Gregory

Sunday 13th May 2018

BROMLEY goalkeeper David Gregory says he wants to keep a clean sheet against Brackley Town in The Buildbase FA Trophy Final at Wembley Stadium next Sunday.

The Ravens number one joined the club last summer and kept 20 clean sheets as Neil Smith’s men finished a personal best of ninth-place in the Vanarama National League table with a club record of 70 points.

Bromley goalkeeper David Gregory (right) has signed a new contract that will keep him at Hayes Lane next season.
Photo: Bromley FC

Bromley were on course of grabbing seventh-place and a place in the play-offs but were held to a goalless draw by Barrow at Hayes Lane before putting in a poor performance in a 5-2 defeat at midtable finishers Maidenhead United on the final day of the season.

Smith and his squad have been preparing for the 125-year-old clubs biggest game since Romford were beaten 1-0 courtesy of Tommy Hopper’s strike that clinched The FA Amateur Cup at Wembley Stadium back in 1949.

“It’s a fantastic achievement for the club. It’s been a brilliant season, just missed out on the play-offs unfortunately,” said Biggin Hill resident Gregory, who signed a new contract with the club on Friday.

“It’s been difficult. We’ve had a lot of long away trips that were tough conditions, tough pitches. It’s not been an easy route. The people that have followed us the whole way, we had a couple of postponements (at Spennymoor) that have cost people a lot of money and we’re thankful for that support.

“I think after Workington at home after we beat them 7-1 in a replay,  we knew who we had in the next round, we thought hang about, there’s only a couple of games between Wembley and that’s when the belief really kicked in that it’s very achievable.”

Bromley played one National League rival in the competition and Gateshead were beaten 3-2 at a wintry Hayes Lane in the Semi-Final First Leg before Brandon Hanlan scored early up in the North East to ease the nerves before Gregory was beaten by a 35-yard screamer from left-wing-back Scott Barrow with 21 minutes of the Second Leg remaining.

Gregory said: “It’s never plane sailing throughout any cup competition if you make a Cup final, it’s never a simple route and you’re going to face adversity. It’s how you stand up to those times and we’ve pulled through as a squad and we used our togetherness as a close-knit group as a positive and pulled us through.

“When that goal at Gateshead went in - he’s just won Goal of the Season for them - so fair play to him! It’s one of the best goals I’ve conceded, so he can have that one!”

Bromley at Wembley, unbelievable really!

“No, I can’t ever envisage it. It’s very unlikely that something like that will ever happen again, playing at Wembley in front of at least 20,000 Bromley fans and more from others that have bought tickets.

“It’s something that may only happen once in your career, once in your lifetime and you’ve just got to instead of envisage it, just enjoy the moment as it is and play the game, it’s just another game of football.

“It’s a brilliant achievement from the squad. I think everyone knew within the first couple of weeks of pre-season that the squad was very talented and could achieve something this year.

“We almost did something that the club have never done before and that’s reach the play-offs and The FA Trophy Final. It’s been a really good year and a really good group.”

The Bromley players all feel that they should have reached the Vanarama National League play-offs and have to pick themselves up from that bitter disappointment.

Gregory said: “The target we set at the start of the year was to reach 72 points, we thought would be the target to get to the play-offs and we just fell short of that so having spent nine months working towards the target and then failing at the last hurdle was disappointing.

“But I think over the course of the season the fixture clog up towards the end of the season did play a part, not to make excuses, I think the Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday-Tuesday for the last eight weeks of the season is going to run its course unfortunately but we still broke records.”

On Sunday’s opponents, Brackley Town, Gregory added: “We have to give them as much respect as any opponents. They’ve been flying in their league and they’ve beaten sides in our league quite convincingly. It’s by no means an easy task, everyone here knows that. We have to treat them with as much respect as we can.

“I’m excited for the day, it’s another game of football. Personally, I wouldn’t over hype that foundation. It’s just another game of football in the best stadium in the country, in the world maybe, that’s the only difference.”

Gregory had this message to the fans that turn out to support Bromley.

“THANK YOU for following us! This is a day for you to enjoy, just as everyone will hopefully. Just enjoy the day, it’s for everyone at the club.

“I want a clean sheet every day of the week. To be able to say I’ve kept a clean sheet at Wembley in a cup final, is some achievement.”

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Photographs courtesy of Edmund Boyden –

Stockton Town  v  Thatcham Town
The Buildbase FA Vase Final
Sunday 20 May 2018
Kick Off 12:15pm
at Wembley Stadium, Wembley, Middlesex HA9 0WS

Brackley Town  v  Bromley
The Buildbase FA Trophy Final
Sunday 20 May 2018
Kick Off 4:15pm
at Wembley Stadium, Wembley, Middlesex HA9 0WS