Thursday 06th October 2005

We can beat Man. United, insists Wakeling

Bromley face their biggest game of the season on Saturday, with the club's staff, players, supporters - and most of all bean counters - hoping for another FA Cup win, writes Neil McKeown - www.bromleytimes.co.uk

The third qualifying round game of the FA Cup is worth £5,000 to the winners as well as taking them into the final qualifying round - the last before the first round proper.

Bromley reached the final qualifying round last season but their hopes were dashed by Cambridge City, who won 3-0 at Hayes Lane.

And Bromley boss George Wakeling, a man who knows all about cup runs, is desperate for a win against Southern Premier League side Mangotsfield United.

"This is our priority," he said.  "It's a big game.  I've been around a long time and I've seen what a good cup run can do for a club.

"There's so much money involved that if you get through to the first round and draw league club, Bob's your uncle."

Bromley go into the match on the back of a 1-0 win at Leyton on Tuesday night - a result which stretches their unbeaten run to six league games and moves the club up to ninth in the Ryman Premier League table.

Experienced striker Mark Tompkins scored the winner and Wakeling admitted he was more than happy with the result.  "It was a very tight game," he said.  "It looked like staying goalless for a while - it was one of those matches where the first goal was always going to win it.  I never thought we'd lose, but you just don't know.

"However, it came at a cost.  We lost Nick McDonnell and Tutu Henriques as well as Gary Drewett and Steve Potterill, who are doubtful for Saturday."

Bromley will return to league action next Tuesday when they welcome second placed Fisher Athletic to The Courage Stadium in Hayes Lane.

And with only six points separating the two, Wakeling knows a win could really let the Ryman Premier League know Bromley are around.

It won't be easy against opponents who have won their last four and scored 24 goals in ten league games, but these are exciting times for the Ravens - something not lost on Wakeling.

"If we win our next two games - then we've got AFC Wimbledon after that - things will be moving," he said.  "If we can keep everyone fit, we can hold our own against most sides."

Meanwhile, Billy Smith is improving all the time and is gradually getting more involved with life at the club.

"He was there shouting on Tuesday," Wakeling said.  "He's still got a long way to go but he watches sides for us.  He's seen Mangotsfield and says they're a good team, but definitely beatable."

Bromley v Mangotsfield United
FA Cup Third Qualifying Round
Saturday 8th October 2005
Kick Off 3:00pm
at The Courage Stadium, Hayes Lane, Bromley