Bromley 0-0 Spennymoor Town - I need people who will roll up their sleeves and put a shift in because Spennymoor will be one difficult place to go, warns Bromley boss Neil Smith

Saturday 24th February 2018
Bromley 0 – 0 Spennymoor Town
Location Hayes Lane, Bromley, Kent BR2 9EF
Kickoff 24/02/2018 15:00

The Buildbase FA Trophy Quarter-Final
Saturday 24 February 2018
Stephen McCartney reports from Hayes Lane

BROMLEY manager Neil Smith says he needs people who will roll their sleeves up and put a shift in during Tuesday night’s replay in County Durham after being held to a goal-less draw by Spennymoor Town

The Ravens froze during this FA Buildbase Trophy Quarter-Final tie against a decent Spennymoor side that arrived at Hayes Lane sitting in seventh-place in the Vanarama National League North table with 48 points from their 27 league outings, while full-time Bromley were in the top-eight in the Vanarama National League table on 52 points from 34 games.

Jason Ainsley’s side have defeated Cleethorpes Town (2-1), Gainsborough Trinity (5-3 on penalties after the game finished 4-4 after extra time), Solihull Moors (2-0) and came away from East Thurrock United with a 5-2 replay win after a 1-1 draw at home.

Bromley will return on the road on Tuesday night after winning 2-0 at Hartley Wintney and 4-1 up at Blyth Spartans and thrashing Workington 7-1 in a home replay after being held to a 1-1 draw in Cumbria on a mud-bath of a pitch.

Smith cast a disappointed figure during the post-match press conference as his 56-goal scoring side failed to reach the expectations that recent performances had warranted against the likes of third-placed Aldershot Town (drawing 1-1 away in midweek).

“Disappointed with the performance, obviously, we’re still in the hat, in the draw, so that’s the one saving grace but that wasn’t us today, we’re a lot better than that.  The players know that and we’ve got to make sure we’re better than that on Tuesday,” said Smith.

“They’re a very good side, we knew that. We had them watched a couple of times and they’re doing well in their division.  They’re looking to get into this league next year, the National League, so it was never going to be an easy game but I think our boys, maybe the occasion got to a couple of them today.

“It was a big game but we had a massive game on Tuesday where we performed. We may have given a late goal away but we were good against Aldershot and we were good against Tranmere Rovers (where we lost 1-0) the other day.

“Maybe the occasion, the Quarter-Final, we’re nearly at Wembley, got to them a little bit. All the talk we’re going to make it, we’ve just got to get back to doing what we’re good at and that’s grafting hard and in the end we did in the second half and I think the keeper pulls off a great save. If that goes in, it’s a different story.”

Spennymoor Town, who started on the front foot, created the first opening inside seven minutes.

Right-back Kallum Griffiths swung in their first corner and the towering centre half James Curtis came up from the back to meet the ball with a looping header from 12-yards, which was plucked out of the air by David Gregory.

The Ravens won the corner-count 7-5 and their first opening came from a flag-kick just four minutes later.

Frankie Raymond swung the ball in from the left and Roger Johnson rose with Luke Woolfenden at the near post and sent his header sailing over the crossbar.

Spennymoor left-back Christopher Mason swung in a cross, Ryan Hall flicked his header back for Robert Ramshaw to hook his right-footed angled shot into Gregory’s hands from just inside the corner of the box.

Mason threw the ball into the Bromley penalty box and central midfielder Shane Henry hooked his over-head kick across Gregory and flashing past the far post from just outside the corner of the six-yard box.

Bromley were to be denied a 15th minute breakthrough following a different corner routine than normal.

Raymond cut the ball along the penalty box for Louis Dennis to sweep his low right-footed shot through a crowd of players and keeper Daniel Lowson was beaten low to his right but Griffiths was there to clear the ball off the line.

Smith said: “We worked on set-plays, different things and scenarios and Louis hit it well enough and the guy covered his far post.  That’s what he does so that wasn’t to be.  It was a well-worked corner, we were hoping it would go in.”

Dennis’ progress was ended by a tackle, the ball came to winger Luke Wanadio, and his cross was cleared and George Porter’s left-footed drive from 30-yards sailed over the crossbar.

Spennymoor did a job on Bromley’s main attacking players and kept Wanadio and Porter quiet on the wings, striker Brandon Hanlan was often isolated while Dennis also failed to deliver too.

Spennymoor then created a couple of chances within a minute.

Winger Hall was impressive for Spennymoor, linking up well with Griffiths down the right, and he played the ball inside to striker Glen Taylor, who curled his right-footed shot into Gregory’s hands from inside the D.

Smith said: “Taylor’s a good player, you can see why he’s scored 18 goals especially in the division below and he was a handful today.  Roger (Johnson) and Jack (Holland) knew they were in a game but we’ve known about him.”

Griffiths often linked up in the final third and his deep cross was met by Andrew Johnson’s shoulder just four-yards out and Gregory made a comfortable save at his near post.

Smith said: “I thought the full-back (Griffiths) and the winger (Hall) did a job on our winger in the end and they managed to get forward a lot and I thought Hall had a very good game today.”

Mason over-hit a free-kick and Holland was trying to shepherd the ball out of play on the by-line, only to lose the ball to Johnson, who cut the ball to Taylor, who fed the ball back to Johnson and his right-footed shot from 22-yards was comfortably saved by Gregory.

Spennymoor keeper Lowson pulled off a finger-tip save to frustrate Bromley in the 40th minute.

Raymond floated in a corner from the left and Johnson rose to plant his free header towards goal from 12-yards, which Lowson tipped onto the crossbar and behind for a corner, only for referee Neil Hair to award a goal-kick.

“It was a great save. He probably wanted a little bit of a plaudits from it because in the end it went for a goal-kick,” said Smith.

“But you could see from the dug-out he pulled off a great save.  Roger’s very dangerous from corners and we always thought a set-play might be important today but he pulled off a great save and kept it out.”

Spennymoor lost centre half James Curtis to an injury as he slid in to prevent Hanlan scoring from the corner of the six-yard box.  The Charlton lonaee latched onto Josh Rees’ long ball and a poor touch inside the box allowed Curtis to come across and make the block and he continued until the break.

When asked about his half-time thoughts, Smith, the Bromley boss said: “I just said we haven’t started! That’s not Bromley Football Club of this season! We’re a lot more energetic, a lot more fluid.  It was very stop-start.

“I have to give credit to Spennymoor because they made it hard but I thought we looked a little bit bitty.  We were having extra touches instead of passing it and we were getting caught in possession, which hasn’t been us all season so it was a little bit of a nightmare that it happened today in a Quarter-Final of The FA Trophy.”

Smith complained that his players were feeling tired towards the end of their game at Aldershot on Tuesday night, while Spennymoor’s home game against AFC Telford United was postponed.

“They had a free week and we didn’t.  I don’t think it’s not a physical effort, it’s mentally,” explained Smith.

“We’re having to get ourselves up for big games every week but I just said in there we had a big game against Tranmere, you were all there, a big game against Aldershot, you were there. Is it getting to the stage where the boys are tiring?  If that’s the case I’ll bring in fresh players and maybe that’s what I’ve got to do.

“I’m giving credit to the players at the moment, they put a shift in for this club and for me all season and maybe this week because Spennymoor had a fresh week, even their players were going down with cramp. It was a tough game.”

Christopher Chantler came off the bench to play at left-back to Mason moved inside to partner Joseph Tait at the heart of defence, leaving Griffiths at right-back.

Taylor put Ramshaw in and Sterling slid in to ensure the ball flashed past the foot of the near post inside the opening four minutes of the second half.

Bromley were flat in attack throughout the match and an example of this came in the 58th minute when Raymond’s low pass towards Wanadio was intercepted by Henry, who looked up and saw Gregory was off his line and attempted to chip the Bromley keeper from 60-yards, but the keeper grabbed hold of the ball as it bounced inside his penalty area.

Smith revealed he subbed Rees on the hour so that Frankie Sutherland could spark Bromley into life.

“I just thought he looked a little bit jaded,” revealed Smith.

“I just wanted to bring on some fresh legs.  I thought Frankie Sutherland came on and injected a little bit of pace.  I think his passing was dynamic. He was getting on the ball and just sharpened things up a little bit and don’t think it’s any conscience that we had them on the back foot from then.”

Taylor teed up Ramshaw, who from just outside the corner of the Bromley box flashed his left-footed angled drive across Gregory and past the far post.

Dennis played the ball out to Wanadio, who floated over a cross towards the far post.  Keeper Lowson punched the ball straight to Luke Woolfenden, who nodded the ball back towards the goal-mouth, which was gobbled up by Lowson as he dropped to the deck.

Gregory kept composed again after Taylor hit a punt up field and the strong freezing biting wind caught the ball in the air and Gregory had to back-peddle to ensure the ball didn’t dip into the back of his net.

Smith brought on striker Omar Bugiel for the final 19 minutes in the hope of making a late breakthrough.

Spennymoor almost caught Bromley cold in the 75th minute when the impressive Taylor played Hall in behind and his shot from eight-yards was blocked by Gregory, low down to his right and the keeper swiftly got back up to prevent Ramshaw hooking the ball in from the rebound.

“We were going for the win, like they were, so they were leaving themselves a little bit open to the counter,” added Smith.

“Gregors has been brilliant all season, so he just done his job today.”

It just wasn’t going to be Bromley’s day in front of goal.

Raymond swung in a corner from the right and this was met by Bugiel’s planted downward header, which beat Lowson but was hacked off the line for the second time by Griffiths.

“He (Griffiths) did his job.  They’re on the far post covering the far post and then it ricochet around but the set-plays are always going to be important. We’ve got great delivery from Frankie Sutherland and Frankie Raymond so you’re just hoping they go in.”

Lowson pulled off a world-class save to earn his side a second bite of the cherry inside the final six minutes.

Sutherland floated in a cross from the right and Hanlan had his big moment, meeting the cross with a downward header from eight-yards which was destined to creep inside the left-hand post, only for Lowson to dive low to his right to claw the ball towards safety.

Smith said: “Listen, I’ve just said in there, when a keeper pulls off a save like that, you can’t do anymore!

“You’ve done everything eight, the set-play was good, the delivery was good, the movement was good, the header was good, the keeper was brilliant, so you have to take it on the chin.”

With Spennymoor sitting back, Bromley created one final chance at the death as Dennis danced towards the left by-line to clip a cross towards the near post but Bugiel glanced his header across goal and this was picked up by Lowson.

In today’s other ties only Vanarama National League South side Wealdstone are through to the Semi-Finals outright after beating Bostik Premier Division leaders Billericay Town 5-2 in Essex.

Gateshead will have home advantage in their replay against their Vanarama National League rivals Leyton Orient after fighting back from being 3-0 down to claim a second bite of the cherry, while Stockport County were held to a 1-1 draw by their Vanarama National League North rivals Brackley Town.

Glenn Tamplin stepped down as Billericay manager after the game and will hand the reigns over to Harry Wheeler, who was his assisant manager, after the Essex side suffered their third defeat on the spin, where they lost to Leiston, Folkestone Invicta and Wealdstone during the past seven days. Tamlin, who has said he has pumped in two million pounds into the club will be Wheeler's assistant manager from now on.

Bromley need a big performance up in Durham on Tuesday night if they are to progress through to the two-legged Semi-Final.

“We’re in the draw, that’s the only saving grace,” admitted Smith.

“I was very disappointed with the boys, they were disappointed with themselves. We know they are better than that.  A massive crowd turned up today, they were awesome, getting frustrated as much as we were but we’re still in it and the only saving grace is that we are in it and we know who our opponents will be.

“We’ve got to do a job on Spennymoor.  It will be tough! It was a tough game today and I’ve just said to the boys it’s going to be horrible, if you don’t want to go, don’t go! I need people who will roll up their sleeves and put a shift in because that will be one difficult place to go.”

Bromley’s only previous visit to Wembley Stadium was when they beat Romford 1-0 to win The FA Amateur Cup Final for the third time in 1949.

Bromley will have to become the first Kent side to beat Spennymoor, who beat Lordswood 3-1 at home (Fourth Round) and Tunbridge Wells 2-1 in The FA Vase Final at Wembley Stadium on 4 May 2013, if they are to keep their Wembley dream alive.

“It will be, for me, it will be a thank you to the supporters, directors, chairman, everybody.  I’ve been so welcomed here since I’ve walked through the door. It’s my local club and to take them to Wembley would be a dream,” added Smith.

Bromley: David Gregory, Luke Woolfenden, Tyrone Sterling, Frankie Raymond, Roger Johnson, Jack Holland, Luke Wanadio (Omar Bugiel 71), Josh Rees (Frankie Sutherland 60), Brandon Hanlan, Louis Dennis, George Porter.
Subs: Ben Chorley, Jordan Higgs, Dan Johnson

Spennymoor Town: Daniel Lowson, Kallum Griffiths, Christopher Mason, Jamie Chandler, Joseph Tait, James Curtis (Christopher Chantler 46), Ryan Hall (Mark Anderson 90), Shane Henry, Glen Taylor, Robert Ramshaw, Andrew Johnson (David Foley 87).
Subs: Jordan Porter, Bradley Fewster

Booked: Ryan Hall 62

Attendance: 1,504 (199 away fans)
Referee: Mr Neil Hair (Peterborough, Cambridgeshire)
Assistants: Mr Anthony Pope (Braintree, Essex) & Mr Gary Jerden (Wickford, Essex)
Fourth Official: Mr Lloyd Wood (Dagenham, Essex)

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