Gloucester City 0-1 Bromley - It was all about getting in that hat no matter how we did it, says Bromley boss Neil Smith

Saturday 20th October 2018
Gloucester City 0 – 1 Bromley
Location Jubilee Stadium, Cheltenham Road, Evesham, Worcestershire WR11 2LZ
Kickoff 20/10/2018 15:00

The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round
Saturday 20 October 2018
Stephen McCartney reports from Jubilee Stadium

BROMLEY manager Neil Smith says he wants to make history for the club and reach The FA Cup Second Round for the first time since 1945 after the Ravens reached the First Round for the sixteenth-time in their history.

Four years ago, The Ravens beat host club Evesham United 2-1 at this stage of the competition and made Jubilee Stadium a happy hunting ground for Bromley, who defeated Gloucester City in their first ever meeting.

A 35-yard curling free-kick from holding midfielder Frankie Raymond, 25, ensured Bromley will be ball number 70 in Monday night’s draw as Smith’s men booked their place in the First Round in three weeks’ time.

“Look, we had the conversation yesterday and we were saying how they don’t let a load in and they don’t score many so we knew it was going to be a tight game and for us to score – I think we could’ve made it a bit more comfortable at the end when George (Porter) went through but it was all about getting in that hat, no matter how we did it,” said Smith during the post-match press-conference.

Bromley were informed by The Football Association late on Friday afternoon that they had not received Maidstone United’s contract cancellation for striker Joe Quigley ahead of the 12:00 registration deadline and Colchester United refused Bromley permission to play six-goal on-loan striker Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe.

Smith said: “Joe’s now registered.  On Thursday we thought we signed him.  On Friday I done some pattern of play with Joe involved in it, to be told at six o’clock the registration hadn’t gone through for whatever reason. 

“It was sort of disrupted us a little bit because then we had to change it literally in the changing room today so full credit to John Goddard, who came in and I thought he done really well.”

Gloucester City – who went into Chris Todd’s first game in charge of the club sitting in 18th place in the Vanarama National League South table with 14 points from 12 games – were without French striker Fabien Robert, who collected two bookings, one of them for jumping the barrier to worship his native flag after scoring in the home 3-3 draw against Dorking Wanderers in the last round.

Gloucester City beat Plymouth Parkway 3-1 in the Second Qualifying Round, before coming away from Bostik Premier Division side Dorking Wanderers with a 3-0 replay win to set up a visit from fifteenth-placed Vanarama National League side Bromley, who have claimed 20 points from 16 games and have now extended their unbeaten run to five games.

Gloucester City started the game on the front foot and should have called visiting keeper David Gregory into action inside the opening nine minutes.

Right-winger Joe Parker sped past Bromley left-back Sam Wood and played in a low cross for lone striker Jake Jackson, who turned Paul Rooney inside the box but his low shot was poor and flashed harmlessly across goal and out of harm’s way.

“We went to watch them against Dorking and they scored three goals and they worked very hard.  The forward (Jackson) is immense, he doesn’t stop running so we knew it was going to be difficult, but I thought we coped with them.  I thought we did cope with them very well,” said Smith.

Gloucester City were a threat from set-pieces with right-back Joe Hanks putting in a number of good deliveries.

The home side won 10 corners and Hanks swung in a quality delivery from the right and Jackson’s near-post downward header sailed just past the far post.

Hanks’ free-kick was punched by Gregory, using his right-hand, the ball dropped to Jake Mawford, who smashed his volley high over the Bromley crossbar from inside the right-hand side of the penalty area.

Bromley took 19 minutes to create something at the other end – as Smith wasn’t happy with the slow tempo.

“I thought they were a really good side to be fair,” said Smith.

“I think Chris Todd’s going to have a good team to take over. We knew it was going to be difficult.  Maybe at times the first half wasn’t as high tempo as I’d like. We sat back a little bit and you’re always breaking down 11 players but I thought second half we upped the tempo and I thought we looked stronger for it.

Sutherland swung in a free-kick into the box from the edge of the centre-circle inside the Gloucester half but Jack Holland steered his stretching header harmlessly wide.

Bromley started to edge into the game and centre-half Rooney played a ball into John Goddard’s feet and he slipped the ball through to Richard Brindley.  The right-back first centre was blocked and his second attempt was driven into the base of the side netting.

“Brinds is still finding his feet with us and what we’re expecting of him, he’s been brilliant since he’s come in,” said Smith.

“We did the overlap, he’s got the ball, he’s obviously tried to cross it, it got defended out, he’s snatched at it a little bit but I thought he was outstanding today.”

Bromley wasted a glorious chance on the half-hour mark, which should have been buried by lone striker Bugiel.

Goddard, who played behind Bugiel, threaded a superb through ball which split open Spencer Hamilton (left-back) and centre-half Sam Avery to put Bugiel through.  He cut into the box and with only keeper Hannah to beat he dragged his right-footed angled drive across the keeper and past the far post.

Smith said: “I think he panicked. I thought he over-thought the situation. It was a great ball and to be fair to Omar he turned the guy.  You just have to hit the target, make the keeper work but he’s getting sharper Omar.”

Smith revealed he will be sticking with the striker, who has scored three goals this season.

“I thought that was a really good performance from him today and I was really pleased with him. He didn’t stop.  The goals will come if you keep working that hard and I thought he deserved a goal just for his hard work today.”

Raymond gave the ball away to Gloucester’s holding midfielder Jamie Edge, who clipped the ball down the left-channel.  Jackson turned Holland inside the box but the Bromley captain charged down the second strike, which was comfortably gathered by Gregory.

Gloucester City finished the half with Hanks floating a free-kick towards the far post for central-midfielder Mat Liddiard to send his downward header past the post from eight-yards.

Gloucester City proved to be a hard side to break down and their statistics of scoring eight goals in the league and conceding only 14 was evident here today.

Smith admitted:  “They’re hard to break down if you’re doing it at one pace because if you’re slow getting the ball and you’re slow pressing they can always get bodies back.  I think when we hit them on the break and we did it with pace, I think that’s why we had the two one-on-ones.”

Smith wanted his side to up their tempo for the second half.

“Just up it! Just up the tempo! Everything about it. There was no energy. I think we gave them a little bit too much respect if I’ve got to be brutally honest.  It’s like let’s get at them, we’ve got pace in the team. I’ve got quality in the team, got power, let’s go and use it!”

Bromley sealed their passage by scoring the only goal of the game, timed at four minutes and 15 seconds into the second half.

It was to be Raymond’s second free-kick goal in the space of the week, having notched the winner in their 2-1 home win over Barrow.

George Porter played a big part in the goal, charging down the right flank and winning a free-kick close to the corner flag.

Frankie Sutherland raised the ball in the air using both hands and put the ball down on the spot for Raymond to swing in a free-kick with his left-boot some 35-yards from goal.

Goalkeeper Hannah, who was outstanding during their 1-0 defeat at Vanarana National League South leaders Billericay Town last weekend, was completely at fault for the goal as he allowed the ball to sail over his head and watched it drop into the bottom far corner.

“He did exactly the same Saturday, he puts the ball on the money,” said Smith.

“If someone can get across it, brilliant. They don’t, the keeper has got to do something and unfortunately the keeper got caught ball watching, watching all these bodies run at him and it goes in at the far post but Frankie’s (Raymond) and Frankie’s (Sutherland) delivery is so important to the squad.

“For the last two games Frankie Raymond has popped up and scored us the winner and they work on that so hard during training, so I’m not surprised!”

Sutherland’s diving header at the near post cleared away Hanks’ corner and seconds later Hanks put the ball back into the box and the ball came out to Parker, who collected the loose ball, ran forward and bent his right-footed shot towards the bottom right-hand corner from 25-yards in the 53rd minute, forcing Gregory to dive full-length to his left to use his fingertips to push the ball behind for a corner.

“It was going in there.  We thought he wasn’t going to get across but it was drifting in but he managed to get his feet moving really quickly, brilliant, great save,” Smith said on Gregory’s great save.

Gloucester’s eighth corner was swung in by Hanks from the right and this was met by Mawford’s near post header, which cleared the crossbar from six-yards.

Bromley were to be denied a second goal in the 57th minute when Goddard drove at the Gloucester defence and played the ball out to Porter, who drilled a right-footed shot towards goal from 22-yards, forcing Hannah to beat the ball out towards safety, high to his right.

Smith said: “Great save! I thought George was brilliant today! It’s one of the best games he’s played for us in the last couple of weeks.  I thought John Goddard coming in so late as well and some of the balls he threaded through were really, really good and that’s what we’ve lacked a little bit.”

Porter turned last-man Avery, who chopped down the Bromley wide man and was booked, so was Sutherland for dissent but it was always going to be a yellow card for the Gloucester captain as the offence took place some 35-yards from goal.

Raymond’s resulting left-footed free-kick was comfortably caught in Hannah’s midriff.

Gloucester City should have been level halfway through the second half from yet another set-piece.

Hanks swung in their final corner, in from the right, and Liddiard found a pocket of space at the far post but could only plant his header over the crossbar from eight-yards out.

Smith said:  “I think they had three corners on the spin and they were all dangerous balls.  Obviously knowing the ground, it is windy. They’ve out a lot on Gregaz and I thought Gregaz dealt with them really well. They had a couple that flashed across but I thought the boys defended really well.”

Bromley sat back for the rest of the game as Gloucester City upped their tempo and pushed bodies forward.

Wood was withdrawn with 15 minutes remaining for big centre-half Marc-Anthony Okoye as Smith played with three centre-halves in the shape of Rooney, Holland and Okoye, with substitute Bobby-Joe Taylor slotting in as a left-wing-back and Brindley on the other side.

“I changed formation. I thought Woody looked a little bit tight so obviously Bobby going left-back. I wanted a little bit of cover so I brought Marc-Anthony on so we went with three at the back,” explained Smith.

“We just soaked up the pressure and bringing Marc on I thought we dealt with their crosses and their set-plays.”

Goodard’s cushioned header went out to Sutherland, who floated in a cross from the left and Bugiel controlled the ball before slicing his shot past the right-hand post from 22-yards in a central position.

Gloucester substitute Harry Williams turned his man and played the ball inside to Parker, whose low left-footed drive from 25-yards was saved comfortably by Gregory, whilst down on his knees, with 12 minutes left.

Mawford pinged a diagonal pass out to substitute winger Jamal Lawrence in space on the right and he cut inside to cross towards the near post for Jackson to flick his shot onto the roof of the net from the corner of the six-yard box.

Bromley went agonisingly close to wrap up the game inside the final seven minutes through a great run from Porter.

Bromley were more likely to score from counter-attacking football, while they were resilient in defence.

Porter picked up a loose ball inside the Gloucester half, arrowed his run for some 30-yards, skipped past four Gloucester defenders to cut into the box and stroked his shot across the keeper only for the ball to agonisingly bounce off the inside of the far post and the lucky keeper grabbed hold of the ball as it came back towards him.

Smith added: “You hope you get that one chance where George goes through and if he puts that in then it’s game over!

“It was a great run. It’s hit the post and sometimes they go in. This time it came straight back our again.”

Bromley seemed to park the bus late on as Bugiel came off and Jordan Higgs sat behind Porter.

Porter broke past the last-man and cut into the box and teed up Godddard, but Gloucester left-back Spencer Hamilton nipped in to kick the ball behind for a Bromley corner.

Smith is keen to add some joy to Bromley’s miserable FA Cup history, having last reached the Second Round back in 1945.

“I want to get through to the Second Round. How many times have we got there? 

“I’ve said to you all I want to do is make history with this club, with these players, so fingers crossed we get a decent draw and it gives us a decent opportunity to do that.”

The Football Association have a habit of giving Bromley draws as far away from Hayes Lane as possible.

“We can’t – we did every round of The FA Trophy away last season – please give us a home game!

“It would be brilliant (to be at home). The supporters are spending money hand over fist to get up here to these games and all last season. It would be lovely to have a home draw. The biggest club we can get and make a game of it.

“Listen, you’re always working, you always want more and I won’t change! I won’t ever think to rest on our laurels and think we’ve cracked it. We haven’t! There were times today when we were a bit sloppy and that can’t settle in. We got there through hard work and we’ve got to maintain that.”

Bromley took around 120 fans to Worcestershire for this game and Smith was full of praise for them making the 300-mile round trip by car, coach and train.

“I can’t thank them enough, they’re amazing! They spent four hours on a coach up here. I know it takes time out of their days and the money and everything else but they’re brilliant and all the players want to do is show their appreciation to them by getting results like that and getting us through to the next round.”

Bromley return to National League action with a trip to eleventh-placed Boreham Wood next Saturday, before hosting Basement side Braintree Town at Hayes Lane on Tuesday 30 October and eighth-placed Hartlepool United on Saturday 3 November, before looking to finally become a FA Cup giant-killer seven days later – hopefully at Hayes Lane!

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 – TBA

Gloucester City: Andy Hannah, Joe Hanks, Spencer Hamilton, Jamie Edge, Sam Avery, Jack Deaman, Joe Parker (Jamal Lawrence 79), Mat Liddiard, Jake Jackson, Chris Knowles (Harry Williams 72), Jake Mawford.
Subs: Matt Williams, Adam Page, Miles Ferguson, Mike Green

Booked: Chris Knowles 44, Sam Avery 62

Bromley: David Gregory, Richard Brindley, Sam Wood (Marc-Anthony Okoye 75), Frankie Sutherland, Paul Rooney, Jack Holland, Adam Mekki (Bobby-Joe Taylor 54), Frankie Raymond, Omar Bugiel (Jordan Higgs 89), John Goddard, George Porter.
Subs:  Roger Johnson, Max Huxter, Jake Goodman, Reece Meekums

Goal: Frankie Raymond 50

Booked: Frankie Raymond 52, Frankie Sutherland 62, Omar Bugiel 73

Attendance: 615
Referee: Mr James Durkin (Portland, Dorset)
Assistants: Mr Mike Desborough (Fareham, Hampshire) & Mr Robert Evans (Northampton, Northamptonshire)
Fourth Official: Mr Ravel Cheosiaua (Redditch, Worcestershire)