Bromley 5-0 Farnborough - I think it's natural to be edgy in the position that we're in, says Bromley boss Mark Goldberg
BROMLEY 5-0 FARNBOROUGH
Vanarama Conference South
Tuesday 17th March 2015
Stephen McCartney reports from Hayes Lane
BROMLEY manager Mark Goldberg hailed his club’s fantastic night after edging closer towards the Vanarama Conference South title.
SCORER: Bromley striker Jamie Slabber (second-left) scored twice against a club where he spent time on loan earlier on in the season.
The Ravens struggled against second-from-bottom Farnborough during the first half before Moses Ademola slotted in his fourteenth goal of the season to ease the nerves just before the break.
However, the introduction of midfielder Danny Waldren sparked the league leaders into life as they scored three goals in a devastating eight minute spell.
Jack Holland came up from the back to head home his third goal of the season on the hour mark, before striker Jamie Slabber notched two goals in 89 seconds, before Bradley Goldberg finished off the rout late on.
Bromley are now four points clear of Boreham Wood on 66 points from 33 games and have seven league games left to play.
Boreham Wood, who arrive at Hayes Lane on Easter Saturday, 4 April, have 62 points from 34 games, while Basingstoke Town are third with 60 points from 33 games.
Havant & Waterlooville (57 points from 33 games) and Whitehawk (57 from 33) are also inside the play-off zone.
Farnborough remain six points adrift of safety with six games remaining and Staines Town are rooted to the foot of the table with 17 points from 34 games.
“I was pleased with the way we finished the game,” said Goldberg after his side’s 20th league win of the season, their eighth at Hayes Lane.
“I must admit we started very edgy and just didn’t get our passing game together. I think we lost our composure a little bit early on.
“I think it’s natural to be edgy in the position that we’re in and the expectations being so high tonight but we got the goal at the right time, didn’t we, just before the half and that settled our nerves and I thought the second half was pretty comprehensive.
“We tried not to put too much pressure on the players in the dressing room but you can’t help feeling it. You know the expectations of all the games in hand, the next two are ones that we’re expecting to win so it does put a lot of pressure on us.
“I thought we handled the pressure well, other than we were edgy in the first 40 minutes.
“You play 11 players against 11 players. At any level of football the first 60 minutes it’s normally as even as it’s going to be and normally the class comes through in the last 20-25 minutes of most games.”
Bromley created their first opening inside the opening three minutes.
Ugo Udoji’s threw the ball into the penalty area, which was cleared out to Ali Fuseini, whose right-footed volley from 25-yards was destined to sail into the top far corner of the net, only to be headed away by Adam Brice.
Louis Dennis swung in the resulting corner from the left but Rob Swaine came up from the back to head wide.
Spencer Day’s side then enjoyed a good spell and good attacking play from Michael Richens set up a chance for Jordan Robertson, but the former Bromley striker saw his deflected right-footed hooked volley scream past the post from 20-yards.
Richens’ resulting corner from the left was cleared and Robertson played the ball inside to Richens, who drilled his shot across goal and just past the far post from the corner of the box.
Bromley left-back Joe Anderson played the ball over the top to release Goldberg, who had beaten the offside trap, before he played the ball inside to Ademola, who got the ball from underneath his feet before hitting his left-footed drive just over the bar from 20-yards.
Bromley’s best chance, however, arrived halfway through the half.
Swaine clipped a ball to release Udoji down the right, who reached the by-line before whipping in a cross for Slabber to rise and plant his header straight at goalkeeper Magnus Norman from 12-yards.
Goldberg added: “We didn’t create too much, that’s why I was a little disappointed with our final ball in the first half.”
The impressive Richens cut in from the left to stroke his right-footed shot straight at Julian from 25-yards, before Bromley took the lead with 40:43 on the clock.
Swaine went route-one, clipping a long right-footed pass over the top of the Farnborough back four to put Ademola through on goal.
The winger controlled the ball with his right foot, turned and placed his left-footed shot into the bottom left-hand corner from 10-yards.
Ademola, 25, is the club’s leading goalscorer.
Goldberg said: “We work on the front two getting into wide areas to allow the wingers to get into the box and you notice that we score goals from our wingers. We have done since Pierre Joseph-Dubois. He’s notched so many over the years.
“We work on the fact that our wingers are getting into the box. It was a good run from Moses and such a composed finish.
“He’s done superbly well for us.”
When asked about Joseph-Dubois’ thumb injury, Goldberg revealed: “Pierre could be back but we’ve got to have a look at his cast and see whether he’s allowed to play or not. That’s a worry.”
Farnborough almost equalised inside time added on when Robertson’s cross found Harry Grant, and his left-footed drive from 20-yards forced Julian to dive to his right to make a vital block.
Goldberg said: “We know Harry’s capable of scoring from distance as well. That’s why we recruited him. He’s a good player but that’s why he left, to get regular football and I think he showed his class tonight.”
Goldberg admitted his side’s first half performance wasn’t up to scratch.
“We basically said now we’ve got our noses in front be more composed in the second half. Put our foot on the ball, work on the movement we do in training, just reinforce all our good movements.
“I thought we played one directional in the first half and our movement and switching of play was much better in the second half.”
The Hampshire side started the second half on the front foot and squandered an excellent chance to level inside the opening four minutes.
Left-back Oli Treacher whipped in a cross from the left and central midfielder Courtney Fearn directed his near post header just wide of the near post from six-yards.
Goldberg said: “They were going to have a spell. They even had a spell in the last ten minutes of the game, 5-0 down. They obviously drew a number of players up front to try to get something out of the game and we caught them on the break.”
Richens then cut inside before stroking his right-footed drive wide from 25-yards, before the game turned in Bromley’s favour.
Dennis won his side a free-kick on the left by-line and before Anderson could take the resulting free-kick, boss Goldberg brought inspirational midfielder Waldren on for Fuseini.
Stats show that left-back Anderson made 16 passes in the second half, 15 of them finding a team-mate.
Anderson’s out-swinging free-kick was met by Slabber’s towering header which sailed into the six-yard box and Holland rose to plant his header into the roof of the net.
“It’s really pleasing because we work on (that move). If it’s not a great goalscoring opportunity, we head the ball back across and others arrive late so Jack did that very well.
“Of course it’s (important that our central defenders score goals). Rob’s come close a few times and Jack is notching a few goals now isn’t he?”
Bradley Goldberg steered his shot into the side netting after Dennis’ shot was blocked inside the Farnborough box, before Slabber scored goals number 10 and 11 for the season.
Bromley’s third goal arrived in the 67th minute when Udoji’s free-kick from the right was flicked on by Ademola on the edge of the box, the ball sailed across goal and Slabber made an untracked run to nod the ball into the near corner from three-yards.
“We scored a few in a quick space of time, didn’t we? After that Danny had been on for ten minutes and we scored three goals,” said a delighted Goldberg.
“He done fantastic Jamie arriving at the right place at the right time. What a goalscoring record this season. It’s decent, the last few games.”
It was swiftly 4-0 when Prestedge drove his shot towards goal, the ball fell at Slabber’s feet, who brought the ball under control before slotting his shot into the bottom right-hand corner from 12-yards.
Goldberg was full of praise for the 30-year-old, who has played once in the Premier League for Tottenham Hotspur 12 years ago this week.
He said: “I mean, again, Jamie arriving at the right time. What’s he had? Six goals in the last four games. Good!
“I’m really pleased. I’m pleased with all of them if I’m honest. It’s brilliant to see how Jamie’s come back from injury and done so well, especially with Ben May being injured at the moment.
“Jamie wasn’t fancied too much by Farnborough (while on loan there earlier on in the season). I think he’s been up for it for the last few games hasn’t he? He’s been sensational. He’s worked so hard for us. He’s showing a different attitude this year from what he’s had in previous years. He works harder.”
Precise Anderson then swung in another free-kick, but this time Swaine’s towering header went over.
Farnborough were to be denied a consolation when Harry Grant ran down the left before sweeping the ball across to substitute Stephane Ngamvoulou, who was denied by Julian’s outstretched left leg.
The manager said: “We were a little bit open at the end. They’re going to go for it to try to score a goal but we got the clean sheet, which could make a difference.”
Bromley wrapped up an impressive second half performance with their fifth goal in the last four minutes.
Prestedge cut open Farnborough’s two central defenders to put Goldberg through on goal, who danced past the last man, rounded the advancing keeper and kept his composure to slot his left-footed shot into the bottom near corner from ten-yards to please his manager.
It was his fourth goal for the club since his return on loan from League Two side Dagenham & Redbridge.
The 21-year-old vowed after the game that he will stay at Bromley – if they are a Conference club – next season.
Boss Goldberg said: “He didn’t have a fortunate game again Brad. Everything seemed to go wrong for him and I’m pleased for him that he kept going and kept going and as a goalscorer if you just keep going, having gone a few games without scoring.
“I’m really pleased for him that he’s got a goal. He was strong as well. He got in front of the defender. I’ve been criticising him for not being strong enough. He showed that strength in the end.”
Boreham Wood’s goal-difference advantage is now down to one goal and Bromley could have levelled that statistic at the end of the game.
Prestedge swept the ball in from the right and Waldren hooked his shot into Norman’s gloves from 25-yards.
Results are the only thing that matters during the business end to the season – and the prize is massive.
Bromley’s last title was back in 1961 when they claimed the Isthmian League crown - and they have never played in the Conference before.
Goldberg admitted: “Fantastic night and I don’t think we played awfully well, certainly in the first half, when I weren’t overly impressed but it shows good signs at the moment that we can win comfortably in terms of result without playing that well.”
Bromley welcome Staines Town to Hayes Lane on Saturday, before travelling to Bath City (28 March), before the top-of-the-table showdown against Boreham Wood at Hayes Lane on 4 April.
That is followed by an Easter Monday trip to Maidenhead United, home games against Eastbourne Borough (11 April) and Weston-super-Mare (18 April), before a trip to Gosport Borough on the last day of the season.
Bromley won five, drew one and lost one of the corresponding fixtures against those teams earlier on in the season and Goldberg wants his side to remain professional going into these final seven make-or-break games.
“They’re (Farnborough and Staines) fighting for their lives. In a way sometimes you’d rather play midtable teams because they’ve got nothing to play for. We’ve got the same on Saturday.
“We need to be professional again on Saturday. However we do it, doesn’t matter! How many goals we score? It doesn’t matter! We need to try to grind out a win.”
When asked whether he can see the finishing line, Goldberg replied: “Not yet, but I think the last seconds of our last game has just moved the finishing line a little for us but we just have to keep going.
“We don’t believe we’re anywhere near the line yet. I think we believe that’s in sight but we’re not near it yet.
“We’ve got massive games. Let’s go one game at a time. Let’s try and get a win on Saturday. We have to be professional.”
When asked more details on the injury front at Hayes Lane, Goldberg replied: “We had to bring Jamie Slabber off because of his calf and Moses looks like he’s just struggling at the moment with a bit of cramp. Hopefully not a hamstring so we’ll be watching that very carefully.
“Cookie’s (Anthony Cook) not back yet. Ben May doesn’t look like he won’t be back for another 2-3 weeks.
“We’re fortunate that we’ve got Mitchell Pinnock back (following his loan spell at Tonbridge Angels) and that’s made a difference. We showed that we had some strength-in-depth on the bench tonight. They all had an impact, Danny Waldren, Mitchell and Birch (Adam Birchall).”
Bromley: Alan Julian, Ugo Udoji, Joe Anderson, Ali Fuseini (Danny Waldren 60), Rob Swaine, Jack Holland, Moses Ademola, Reece Prestedge, Jamie Slabber (Adam Birchall 79), Bradley Goldberg, Louis Dennis (Mitchell Pinnock 73).
Subs: Calum McNaughton, Paul Rodgers
Goals: Moses Ademola 41, Jack Holland 60, Jamie Slabber 67, 68, Bradley Goldberg 86
Farnborough: Magnus Norman, Fred Grant, Oli Treacher, Jamie Hand (Josh Shama 73), Adam Brice, Darryl Siaw, Dan Bennett (Stephane Ngamvoulou 77), Courtney Fearn, Jordan Robertson (Louie Theophanous 73), Michael Richens, Harry Grant.
Sub: Gussimu Sow
Booked: Jamie Hand 71, Fred Grant 75
Referee: Mr Ian Rathbone (Northampton)
Assistants: Mr Sam Lewis (Flitwick, Bedfordshire) & Mr Mark Chalkley (King’s Lynn, Norfolk)