If we finish tenth, I think it's a fantastic achievement, says Bromley's Lee Minshull

Sunday 16th April 2017

LEE MINSHULL says it will be a fantastic achievement for Bromley to finish in the top ten in the Vanarama National League.


The Ravens leapfrogged over Boreham Wood (the side that finished second to Bromley when they won the Conference South title in April 2015) into tenth-place after thrashing play-off chasing Barrow 4-1 at Hayes Lane on Good Friday.

George Porter headed Bromley’s Ravens into a ninth minute lead after Blair Turgott’s deep corner, before the Bluebirds equalised through Richie Bennett’s penalty.

But the Ravens won the pecking rights through Turgott’s penalty and two goals from confident striker Tobi Sho-Silva.

The Hayes Lane faithful were concerned that their side were being dragged into the relegation dog-fight after failing to score in six of seven games, but the pressure has been lifted after winning 2-0 at in-form York City, before edging Wrexham 4-3 at Hayes Lane.

Minshull admitted the pressure had been lifted now that the club have secured their National League status for a third season.

He said: “Really pleased for the lads, we’ve been working really hard and I think we had a sort of a sticky patch where we were looking over our shoulders a little bit and since we’ve secured our safety for next year I think the boys have relaxed a little bit and put some good results together.

“York were on good form but we went up there with a game plan and I think scoring after two minutes, we kind of haven’t been scoring the first goal and that was making it harder and I think we lost 1-0 three times in that period, so having that first goal again against Barrow, we scored the first goal and it makes us a lot more positive.

“Barrow needed to win to get in the play-offs and we didn’t but you’ve got your personal pride and you want to do well and finish as high as we can, higher than last year and I think if we finish top ten, that’s a great achievement for us.”

Minshull, 31, was drafted in as an emergency centre half alongside Jack Holland due to manager Neil Smith having injuries and a small squad to play with.

“Yes, it was alright,” Minshill said of his new makeshift position.

“Everyone looked at how Barrow would play, they would be very direct and Jordan Higgs and Connor Dymond have been doing really so I think they didn’t want to break that partnership up in midfield so the best thing to do was have DJ (Daniel Johnson) at left-back and slot me in at centre half and I quite enjoyed it to be fair.

Bromley travel to bogey side Eastleigh on Easter Monday, before hosting Guiseley on Saturday (both 15:00), before completing their campaign with a trip to Gateshead on 29 April (12:15).

Moneybags Eastleigh are four places lower than Bromley on 53 points and they suffered a 2-1 defeat away to relegation threatened North Ferriby United on Good Friday.

MInshull said: “To score four goals in the last two games, I think there’s been a lot of games where they’ve been tough, they’ve been 0-0s or 1-0s either way so it’s nice to give a bit of entertainment for the fans and it sends them home happy and we’re pleased with that as well.  To score four goals twice in a row is very good against two very good clubs.

“Again, we could do with a result against Eastleigh but we’re in better form than them so we’ve got to go there and I’m confident we can go and get something there and you look at our last two results, I can’t see why we can’t try and go unbeaten until the end of the season.”

When asked what has helped the turnaround in Bromley’s form, scoring goals 10 goals in their last three outings, Minshull replied: “I just think winning games.  It’s easy to come in and work hard.  I think everyone comes in and buys into what you’re doing.

“When you’re losing and you’re struggling to score goals you’re panicking and you’re looking over your shoulder. It’s not nice and pressure plays a part where as now we’re creating things, everyone’s relaxing on the ball and we’re making the right decisions.”

Bromley finished in fourteenth-place on 60 points in their debut season and are tenth on 58 points and like last season have won 17 league games.

“Tenth, that was our aim some while ago,” revealed Minshull, who has previously played for Chatham Town, Ramsgate, Tonbridge Angels, AFC Wimbledon and Newport County.

“If we can finish tenth everyone will be really pleased with that.  I don’t think we can get any higher now, even top half will be a good achievement and an improvement on last year.

“There’s been a lot of ups and downs.   We’ve had flirtations with the play-offs (last season) and then we’ve had a bit of a bad run and we’re looking over our shoulder again, but I think if we finish tenth, I think it’s a fantastic achievement.

“All you ever ask in football as a fan and as a player is that the club’s moving forward and if we do that, finish 10th, that’s certainly moving forward again.”

Now that Billericay Town have screwed their promotion bid from the Ryman Premier League after their 3-2 defeat away to relegation threatened Leatherhead yesterday, jumping ship to sign for the Essex club doesn’t seem a great prospect now.

Bromley have already lost goalkeeper Alan Julian, defender Rob Swaine and striker Adam Cunnington to Billericay, but that club has been become a laughing stock after publishing a video of their cringing players singing R Kelly’s “The World's Greatest” and their manager/owner getting them to scream “The Greatest” during his team-talk before they went out and thrashed Tonbridge Angels 8-3 in The Alan Turvey Trophy (Sponsored by Robert Dyas) Final last Wednesday.

Tonbridge Angels showed GREAT character to bounce back from their humiliation by beating AFC Sudbury 1-0 at Longmead Stadium yesterday, courtesy of Nathan Elder’s winner 12 minutes from time to give them a fighting chance to grab a play-off place at Billericay’s expense.

Bromley must keep hold of club captain Holland, who lives in West Wickham, and Minshull and their other influential players for next season, although left-back Joe Anderson has left the club after Smith revealed that he couldn’t agree terms with him for next season.

When asked about plans for next season, Minshull revealed: “Yes, we’ve started talking and obviously having a chat with a few of the boys but I mean we’ve still got a few weeks left so I’m sure we’ll have a chat and see what the craic is.”

But with Bromley doing ever so well in the top flight of non-league football, you’d be absolutely crazy to leave Hayes Lane in the summer to sign for a club that appears from the outside to be just one big publicity stunt.

Visit Bromley’s website: www.bromleyfc.tv

Eastleigh  v  Bromley
Vanarama National League
Easter Monday 17 April 2017
Kick Off 3:00pm
At Stoneham Lane, Eastleigh, Hampshire SO50 9HT