Bromley 1-0 Wrexham
Bromley 1 – 0 Wrexham
|Location||Wembley Stadium, Wembley, Middlesex HA9 0WS|
BROMLEY 1-0 WREXHAM
The Buildbase FA Trophy Final
Sunday 22 May 2022
Stephen McCartney reports
BROMLEY stunned favourites Wrexham to win The FA Trophy for the first time, courtesy of striker Michael Cheek’s 23rd goal of the season.
Andy Woodman’s side finished in tenth-place in the Vanarama National League table, having collected 67 points from their 44 games.
Bromley beat Dover Athletic (1-0), Aldershot Town (2-0), Tonbridge Angels (3-2 on penalties after a 1-1 draw), Solihull Moors (3-1) and York City (3-1) to reach their second FA Trophy Wembley Final since losing on penalties to Brackley Town in 2018.
Wrexham, meanwhile, defeated Gloucester City (5-0), Folkestone Invicta (5-1), Boreham Wood (3-0), Notts County
(2-1) and Stockport County (2-0) and Phil Parkinson’s men finished in second-place in table with 88 points on the board, finishing six points behind promoted champions Stockport County, ahead of next week’s play-offs.
Favourites Wrexham created an opening after only 187 seconds when striker Ollie Palmer played the ball down the line for his strike partner Paul Mullen, who cut the ball back for Palmer, whose low drive was blocked by Billy Bingham on the edge of the Bromley six-yard box.
Bromley, by far the better side during a first-half that Wrexham played at a slow tempo, created a much better chance inside 10 minutes.
Centre-half Chris Bush found himself down the left touchline and floated in a cross towards the far post where Cheek met with a looping header which was plucked out of the air by Wrexham goalkeeper Christian Dibble.
Wrexham, who were being watched by their celebrity Hollywood owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney - and former England captain David Beckham - missed a glorious chance to open the scoring in the 14th minute.
A ball over the top by right-wing-back Liam McAlinden released Mullin down the right channel and he cut the ball inside for Jordan Davies, whose first time low drive was comfortably held by Bromley keeper Ellery Balcombe.
Halfway through the first half, Byron Webster hit a long ball out of defence, Cheek chased a lost cause and won the ball inside the Wrexham box and teed up Harry Forster, who curled his shot over the top of the far post.
Wrexham centre-half Ben Tozer launched a long throw into the Bromley box, which was cleared before Mullin and James Jones linked up down the right flank before floating in a deep cross but Tozer failed to keep his header down at the back post.
Bromley lost centre-half Omar Sowunmi to a dislocated shoulder on the stroke of half-time, being stretched off the Wembley Stadium pitch, before a long ball played in Mullin but his angled drive was comfortably saved by Balcombe.
Bromley’s only corner of the first half was swung in by winger Luke Coulson, which came out to Bush, who cracked a first-time drive across the keeper and past the far post which was the last kick of the first half that Bromley out-performed their Welsh opponents.
Wrexham created their first chance of the second half within the first 128 seconds of the half when Tozer launched another long throw in from the right and Jordan Davies steered his far-post header across the keeper and past the far post from seven-yards.
Wrexham continued to start the half on the front foot and Mullin’s speculative 35-yard half-volley bounced over the Bromley keeper – running towards his goal-line - and dropped over the crossbar.
Bromley then created a couple of decent chances to break the deadlock within the space of 44 seconds when Ali Al-Hamadi drilled a shot towards goal, which was beaten away by Christian Dibble before Bush threaded a through ball to play in Cheek, whose left-footed drive was clawed away by the Wrexham keeper to his right.
Wrexham went close in the 58th minute when Callum McFadzean found Mullin in a pocket of space inside the Bromley box but he lashed his left-footed drive into the side netting.
Bromley grabbed the winner in the 64th minute when a drilled long ball from substitute Joe Partington from close to the halfway line on the right released the outstanding Corey Whitely, who put it on a plate for Cheek to smash a first time right-footed drive into the top right-hand corner from 12-yards.
Stunned Wrexham almost found themselves two-goals down at the halfway point of the half when Partington’s cross was met at the far post by Cheek, whose downward header was comfortably saved by Dibble.
Wrexham made a tactical switch by going from three at the back to four for the final 15 minutes and pressed for an equaliser.
The Welsh side missed a chance to equalise inside the final five minutes as Bromley sat back and Wrexham threw bodies forward and McFadzean’s cut back was lashed over with a first time drive from inside the box from substitute Daniel Jarvis.
Balcombe produced a world-class save to deny Wrexham inside fourteen minutes of injury-time.
Tozer launched a long throw into the box, the ball was flicked on by Max Cleworth and substitute striker Jake Hyde’s header from four-yards was brilliantly pushed over the crossbar by the keeper’s outstretched right hand.
With shades of Brackley Town, Wrexham had the ball on the back of the net with 95:00 on the clock when Hyde nodded the ball home from an offside position and the goal was ruled out.
But Bromley – wearing an all-black kit for the first time – showed more heart and desire to claim a famous victory and tore up the script in magnificent fashion.
Bromley also won The FA Amateur Cup with a 1-0 win over Romford at the old Wembley Stadium back in 1949.
However, Webster held aloft the silverware on Bromley's Greatest Ever Day.
Bromley: Ellery Balcombe, Luke Coulson, Harry Forster, Byron Webster, Chris Bush, Omar Sowunmi (Joe Partington 45), Corey Whitely, Billy Bingham (Liam Trotter 76), Michael Cheek (Mason Bloomfield 80), Ali Al-Hamadi, James Vennings.
Subs: Mark Cousins, James Alabi, Louis Dennis, Jack Cawley
Goal: Michael Cheek 64
Booked: James Vennings 72
Wrexham: Christian Dibble, Liam McAlinden (Reece Hall-Johnson 75), Callum McFadzadean, Ben Tozer, Max Cleworth, Tom O’Connor (Daniel Jarvis 75), Jordan Davies, Luke Young (Jake Hyde 86), Ollie Palmer, Paul Mullin, James Jones.
Subs: Tyler French, David Jones, Jordan Ponticeli, Lee Cramp
Referee: Mr Thomas Bramall
Assistants: Mr Paul Hodskinson & Mr Nick Greenhalgh
Fourth Official: Mr Anthony Blackhouse