Bromley midfielder Ali Fuseini: Beating Wrexham means a lot

Sunday 09th August 2015

BROMLEY midfielder Ali Fuseini says his team-mates proved a lot of people wrong on the club’s Vanarama National League debut yesterday.

The Ravens have waited 123 years to dine at non-league footballs’ top table and they made it a special day after beating Wrexham 3-1 at Hayes Lane.

Wrexham had plenty of possession during the early stages of the first half and deserved their 22nd minute lead when winger Wesley York flicked Dominic Vose’s low cross into the far corner.

The Vanarama Conference South champions started nervous on their big occasion and while the Bromley fans in the 2,085 crowd inside Hayes Lane were expecting to maybe suffer a disappointing day, Bromley, playing a devastating counter attack game, hit back in style with three goals from only three shots during the first half.

Debutant Sean Francis, who was excellent alongside Rob Swaine at the heart of defence, lashed in his first goal for the club only 119 seconds after Wrexham scored to lift the roof off.

Fellow debutant, striker Alex Wall, placed his shot into the bottom left-hand corner to give Bromley a 2-1 lead after 29 minutes, before striker Moses Emmanuel, the artist formerly known as Moses Ademola, sent Bromley to the top of the Vanarama National League table at half-time with a third in the 43rd minute.

Bromley travel to Woking sitting in third-place in the table after Eastleigh thrashed Southport 4-0 away from home and newly-promoted Boreham Wood (who won the Conference South play-offs) won 3-1 at home to FC Halifax Town.

BBC Radio Kent covered yesterday’s game at Hayes Lane and pundit Tony Hudd was asked of Bromley’s National League chances and replied: “I think they’re going to drop!”

Mr Hudd has certainly not done his research on the Ravens, who are good enough to finish in mid-table this season and are now a full-time outfit and manager Mark Goldberg has targeted League Two football in three-years time.

Fuseini, 26, who made 76 appearances for Millwall between 2006-2010, said: “To be fair it’s a decent start to the season and obviously now we’ve got to look towards the next game against Woking and kick on from there.

“He (Mark Goldberg) just said to us to go out there and enjoy yourselves and against Wrexham it was always going to be a difficult game, so just need to go out there, work hard and hopefully our football could prove people wrong.

“We knew that they were going to come here and have a lot of possession so we just worked, let them have the ball and we knew when to press them and when not to press them so that was part of our game plan.”

Ademola top scored with 16 goals during Bromley’s Vanarama Conference South title winning season – the club’s first league title for 54 years – and Fuseini is confident of a similar return in the top-flight.

“Last season he did it. He just needs to prove it this year and I think personally he’s good enough to score a lot more goals in this league,” said Fuseini.

Wrexham manager Gary Mills had underestimated the Kent outfit, expecting it to be a stroll in the August sunshine.

Goldberg has a twenty-man squad at his disposal at Hayes Lane and Fuseini admits everyone is fighting for a starting position.

“It’s a good team that we’ve got, everybody deserves to be starting and we’ve got a good bunch of lads, so it’s difficult for the manager but obviously that’s what we’ve got to do as players, to give him a headache and whoever he picks that’s what we have to deal with.”

Fuseini scooped the man-of-the-match yesterday, although Goldberg felt talented winger Anthony Cook should have received the accolade.

Fuseini said: “It was a good game and we worked hard so hopefully it’s not just for me, it’s for the team.  Hopefully it continues until the end of the season.”

Bromley beating Wrexham was unthinkable 13 years ago when Bromley escaped relegation from the Ryman League.

Fuseini revealed it “meant a lot,” to him and his team-mates.

“It’s the first game of the season so obviously they’re going to look for promotion as well so it means a lot.

“But for us it’s a good test of where we are and what standard we’re supposed to do, so that’s what we did.”

Fuseini hopes as many fans can travel the relatively short journey to Woking on Tuesday night.

The Cards opened their campaign with a 1-0 defeat at relegated Tranmere Rovers yesterday.

“To be fair, obviously the Bromley fans are showing up a lot more,” said the midfielder.

“As a club I’m happy. I’m not far from Bromley so I’m happy for them to be coming up and hopefully we can keep climbing up and see what happens this season, so it’s good.

“It’s not going to be easy, that’s another tough game and we have to go out there and just put on another performance and see how it goes.”

Bromley’s loyal supporters – who have followed their club during the dark days – are on cloud nine this weekend and assistant manager Neil Smith is delighted for them.

“The club deserves to be where it is because of all the hard work that club has done over the years,” said Smith, 43, a Bromley resident, who played for Gillingham and Fulham at the start of his playing career.

“The supporters deserve it too because their support has been fantastic since I walked through the door.”

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Woking  v  Bromley
The Vanarama National League
Tuesday 11th August 2015
Kick Off 7:45pm
at Kingfield Stadium, Kingfield Road, Woking, Surrey GU22 9AA