I apologise to the supporters' for our unacceptable performance at Dorking Wanderers, says Bromley boss Neil Smith

Sunday 15th December 2019

BROMLEY manager Neil Smith has issued an apology to supporters who witnessed their sides unacceptable performance during their FA Trophy First Round exit at Dorking Wanderers yesterday.

Marc White’s side booked their place in the Second Round for the first time after dumping out the National League highflyers 3-0 at Meadowbank, when Bromley simply failed to turn up and put in their poorest performance of the season.

The Lillywhites grabbed a 2-1 win at relegation-threatened Chesterfield last weekend and went into the game sitting in third-place in the Vanarama National League table with 44 points from 25 games.

Dorking Wanderers are in the top-six in the Vanarama National League South table with 33 points from 20 games  and were on a six-match unbeaten run.

Bromley were without seven players for this game with Chris Bush serving a three-match ban and centre-half Dave Winfield was cup-tied having played for Chelmsford City earlier on in the competition.

Mark Cousins, Jordan Higgs, Adrian Clifton, Reeco Hackett-Fairchild and Jake Goodman are keeping the medical team at Hayes Lane busy.

Luke Coulson, who usually operates down the left-flank, was forced to play at right-back for Bromley, while right-back Joe Kizzi slotted in at centre-half alongside Jack Holland and holding midfielder Billy Bingham came off the bench at half-time to slot into a three-man defence.

“I’ve just told them that’s unacceptable,” said Smith when interviewed on the club website.

“As much as we’ve been patted on the back for where we are in this division and what we’ve done this season, I can’t have that and I won’t have that and the players are in there and they know the situation.

“We are down in numbers, obviously the suspension that happened to Chris Bush late on in the week really disappointed him and the players were affected by it, obviously.

“I tried really hard to bring in a player before today’s game and it was always going to be difficult but it looked like we had 12 players out there today in respect of on the bench as well.

“It’s going to be tough, it’s going to be difficult and we have to re-group for Monday and we’ll go through this game and get everything out of the way from this game that we need to improve on – which is everything – and look forward to Eastleigh.”

Bromley took around 150 fans to Dorking for the game and although it was the first meeting against Dorking Wanderers, Meadowbank is the former home of the old Dorking FC and it felt like Bromley had travelled back in time during their dark days of struggling back in the Isthmian League where awful performances like this one were an often occurrence.

“That’s not good enough and I apologise to the supporters' who have been brilliant, who have actually backed us and been so behind us. We’ve let them down today and I apologise on their behalf,” added Smith.

“We wanted a run in the cup, we didn’t lose the game last year and was out of it after the Sutton situation but today maybe The FA Trophy isn’t for us.”

Smith demands a reaction from his side for Eastleigh’s visit to Hayes Lane next Saturday.

Ben Strevens’ side are in thirteenth-place in the table with 33 points from 24 games and thrashed Yate Town 6-1 at home in The FA Trophy First Round yesterday and reached the Second Round of The FA Cup where they 3-1 to Crewe Alexandra in a replay after a 1-1 draw at home.

“But we’ll come back stronger, we’ve got to come back stronger,” insisted Smith.

“I don’t want that feeling again against a resurgent Eastleigh side doing well in the FA Cup as well so we have to put it right all next week.

“We’ll have a couple of bodies back and we’ve also been speaking to a couple of players to maybe strengthening the squad a little bit and getting players in because we are thin on numbers. We’ll make sure we get something sorted for next week.”

Visit Bromley’s website: www.bromleyfc.net

Bromley  v  Eastleigh
Vanarama National League
Saturday 21 December 2019
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Hayes Lane, Bromley, Kent BR2 9EF

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