Bromley 5-0 Grays Athletic - We've got one hell of a difficult tie in the next round, says Goldberg

Tuesday 14th October 2014

The FA Cup Third Qualifying Round Replay
Tuesday 14th October 2014
Stephen McCartney reports from Hayes Lane

BROMLEY manager Mark Goldberg says he wants to make it through to The FA Cup First Round for the fifth time in nine years.

The Ravens recorded their highest FA Cup win for 32 years after thrashing Grays Athletic 5-0 at a rain-drenched Hayes Lane after Goldberg made four changes to his side that played out a dull goal-less draw at Aveley’s Mill Field at the weekend.

Bromley reached this stage following their 5-1 home win Uxbridge and can now look forward to a trip to Worcestershire to play Southern League Division One South & West side Evesham United in the final qualifying round on 25 October.

But Grays Athletic were the better side for the opening 20 minutes, before central midfielder Reece Prestedge headed home his first goal for the Bromley, with the home side’s first chance.

Grays keeper Conor Cough should have been red-carded when he committed a professional foul on Pierre Joseph-Dubois, but referee Ryan Atkin kept his cards in his pocket and striker Jordan Robertson converted the penalty.

Bromley scored three second half goals with Adam Bailey-Dennis heading home, before Duncan Culley came off the bench to make it 4-0, before Bromley keeper Seb Brown capped a brilliant performance with a penalty save, before Louis Dennis rattled in the fifth.

It was the club’s highest FA Cup victory since thrashing Chertsey Town 12-1 away from home in the Preliminary Round back in 1982.

“It took a replay to be able to get the win and it was an impressive win,” said Goldberg afterwards.

“Just the work ethic of the players and the way they responded from Saturday was very pleasing.

“I think the fact that we were first to every second ball and we worked to our game plan a lot more effectively today.  We got the ball out side early, got early crosses in. I’ve lost count how many crosses we put in early.

“The goals came. It was a hard first 20 minutes where they were competing extremely well but all credit to them.  They never stopped running, even when they were 5-0 down, they kept on pushing and penetrating trying to get a goal and I think their team was a credit to Jody Brown, who is a very good, young manager, who I think deserved the applause he had from his own fans even when they lost 5-0.”

Grays Athletic, who crossed Dartford Bridge sitting in the top eight in the Ryman Premier League with 21 points from fourteen games, were the better side for the first 20 minutes.

Right-back Aaron Best crossed from the right towards the far post where impressive left-winger Joao Carlos directed his header into Brown’s gloves for a comfortable save with only 73 seconds on the clock.

Carlos linked up well with left-back Jay Siva impressively and after fourteen minutes Carlos whipped in a low cross, which was cleared by Bromley’s central defender Danny Waldren, but Joseph Zerafa drilled a low shot wide from 25-yards.

But Bromley – in fifth-place in the Vanarama Conference South table with 18 points from 11 games and having lost three of their five league home games - weathered the early storm and took the lead with their first opportunity with nineteen minutes on the clock.

Louis Dennis swung in a corner from the left and Prestedge planted his near post header into the net from eight-yards.

Goldberg said: “We asked Louis to whip them in on a night where it was important we got our crosses in lower rather than higher because Conor Gough proved on Saturday how good he is from any ball. He’s a big, strapping goalkeeper and we said if you’re going to put it in the danger area, whip it in so that the goalkeeper has to be more indecisive whether to come out or not.

“I’m very pleased for Reece to get the goal that he deserved.”

Bromley left-back Joe Anderson whipped in a cross and Robertson turned to stroke a shot straight into Gough’s gloves from ten-yards.

Brown then launched a big kick into the Grays Athletic half and Dennis’ speculative right-footed chip from 30-yards was comfortably caught by Gough.

However, there was controversy when Ali Fuseini released Joseph-Dubois through on goal and the winger rounded the advancing Gough, who deliberately brought down the attacker inside the box.

It was a clear goalscoring opportunity and as last man the keeper had to go – but all referee Mr Atkin did was point to the spot and left his cards in his pocket.

Goldberg, like the rest of the 455 fans, was amazed that Gough stayed on the pitch.

He said: “I thought it was a strange one, the goalkeeper wasn’t sent off! 

“I thought they got a little bit fortunate there but he clearly still had the ball under control and if you’re taking it around the goalkeeper he would have, there’s no way that he wouldn’t have scored.

“Look, we’ve done the job with eleven men so that’s even more pleasing for us.”

Bromley have missed three penalties already this season, but Robertson buried that statistic and drilled his right-footed penalty past the diving Gough to put Bromley in the driving seat after 34 minutes.

Goldberg added: “Jordan shows the class.  We’re very, very lucky to have a player of that quality but this is what you need to be a strong team capable of going through the latter (qualifying) rounds or shall we say hopefully through the early rounds of The FA Cup proper.

“You’ve got to have strength-in-depth and Jordan gives you that.”

Fuseini was given time and space to unleash a right-footed drive from 30-yards, which skimmed the top of Gough’s crossbar.

Goldberg added: “I think we had a number of close chances where the keeper pulled off some good saves or we hit the woodwork.  We kept having a go didn’t we? I felt we defended extremely well today.”

Grays Athletic midfielder Zerafa spread the ball out wide to Carlos, who cut inside and drilled a low left-footed angled drive, which was spilt by Brown, who gathered the loose ball at the second attempt.

Carlos and Siva linked up well again and Kenny Beaney played a reverse pass to play Carlos on the overlap and his cross was flapped at by Brown and moments later Freddie Ladapo’s hooked effort was blocked and looped over the crossbar.

Grays Athletic created their first second half chance inside the opening four minutes when Mark Bentley released Carlos, who cut inside and drilled a deflected shot over the bar.

Talented Siva whipped in the resulting corner from the right and Jay Leader came up from the back to head harmlessly wide.

Bromley squandered an excellent chance to increase their lead in the 52nd minute.

Anderson threw the ball to nippy striker Moses Ademola, who played a reverse pass to release Anderson on the overlap to whip in a cross towards the far post where Fuseini jumped to send his header over the bar from six-yards.

But Grays Athletic failed to grab hold of a lifeline six minutes later.

Zerafa played a sublime through ball through the heart of Bromley’s two central defenders to put Ladapo through on goal but Brown advanced off his line to make a fine block.

“Important moments when there’s only two goals in the game or even one goal in the game,” said Goldberg.

“Teams can gain confidence by just gaining a goal so there just defining moments when saves like that are made.”

Prestedge went close with a long-distance drive which sailed just over the crossbar, before Bromley scored their third goal in the 58th minute.

Dennis whipped in a corner from the left, which was cleared away and Waldren was out on the right touchline when he delivered an excellent cross towards the near post where an unmarked Bailey-Dennis powered his header into the roof of the net from six-yards.

Goldberg added: “That was persistence from Danny Waldren and a great little cross and Adam was in the right place and nodded it home.”

Bromley went close again when Ademola picked up the ball, cut inside before playing a reverse pass to Robertson, who cut the ball across goal and Joseph-Dubois poked his right-footed shot agonisingly past the foot of the near post from close range.

Goldberg had the luxury to replace his front two of Ademola and Robertson for Adam Birchall and Duncan Culley after 66 minutes.

Bromley didn’t have all of their own way, however, as a string of fine saves from former AFC Wimbledon stopper Brown maintained back-to-back clean sheets.

Grays sub Chris Bryan unleashed a right-footed drive screaming towards goal from 30-yards, but Brown dived to his left and used a strong left hand to push the ball around the post for a corner.

But Bromley rattled in a fourth goal following a short corner with 71 minutes on the clock.

Louis Dennis cut into the penalty area and his low centre towards the near post was stabbed into the bottom corner from two-yards by Culley, who scored his second goal for the club since his move from Gloucestershire based Shortwood United.

Goldberg added: “It’s very pleasing for both forwards to get on the scoresheet, Duncan and Jordan, so always pleasing to see the guys come in and score.”

Bromley completed the scoring within three minutes when Dennis cut in from the right and curled a stunning left-footed into the top far corner from 30-yards to score the goal of the game.

Goldberg said: “Louis Dennis scored with a wonder goal but it was his defensive work that impressed me most because we know what he can do going forward but today he grew into that position that we’re hoping he can play.

“It’s wonderful to see Louis get the goal that he deserved. He worked so hard all game.”

Fuseini was penalised by the referee for a foul inside the penalty area in the 76th minute but Ladapo, who was searching for his tenth-goal of the season, was denied by another excellent save from Brown, who dived to his left to make the save.

“I didn’t think it was a penalty, but it was a good opportunity for Seb to just cap off a brilliant performance by pulling off a great save,” said Goldberg.

“I don’t think it was a penalty. I don’t think you felt it was a penalty either?!”

Birchall was to be denied by Gough when he drilled a low shot towards goal, before the former Gillingham striker got on the end of Dennis’ left-wing cross, heading down and agonisingly over the bar from six-yards.

Goldberg admitted he’s keeping faith in the striker, who has scored one goal for Bromley since his move from Preistfield Stadium in the summer.

“Birchall’s so desperate to score but the bottom line is that header down was the right thing to do.  How it bounced over in conditions like that, it’s just ridiculous! It just wasn’t to be for him to score.

“We love Birch. We think he’s a tremendous player and a tremendous character and I’m going to stick with him.”

Brown was called into action at the end of the game, saving from substitute Chris Bryan, pushing over a dipping long-range angled drive from Siva and even pushing over a header from team-mate Anderson, which was heading towards his own goal.

Goldberg hinted that a 5-0 scoreline was harsh on the Essex side, saying, “I don’t think that’s a reflection on how the game went at all! I thought they carried on working hard throughout.  As I said they’re a credit to their manager.”

In between that flurry of late Grays chances, Bromley skipper Waldren curled a right-footed free-kick narrowly around the near post from 25-yards.

Goldberg can now look forward to facing Evesham United in a winner-takes-all showdown on 25 October for a place in The FA Cup First Round.

Goldberg has guided Bromley to that stage, losing to Gillingham (2006); Colchester United (2009); Leyton Orient (2011) and Fleetwood Town (2012).

“I’d like to do it again. We want to make it five! Let’s try to make it five this time,” he said.

“We’ve got a great opportunity. Evesham will look at it and say they’ve also got a great opportunity so we’re all in the hat and in with a chance and we’ve got to go away from home.

“We’ll go there with the same respect for Evesham as we would for any team in any league.

“We know it’s going to be a battle just like Saturday at Grays was a very, very difficult time from the first minute right to the last.

“Goals change games so if we can get ourselves a goal early on then our confidence will grow but the longer the game goes on when you don’t score, just like Saturday, then we’ll be pleased to walk away from them again with a draw.

“It (reaching the First Round) means an awful lot to myself personally and Bromley Football Club and commercially it’s extremely important – but we’ve got one hell of a difficult tie in the next round so I can’t even think about reaching the First Round proper.”

Bromley: Seb Brown, Ugo Udoji, Joe Anderson, Ali Fuseini (Harry Grant 77), Danny Waldren, Adam Bailey-Dennis, Pierre Joseph-Dubois, Reece Prestedge, Jordan Robertson (Adam Birchall 66), Moses Ademola (Duncan Culley 66), Louis Dennis.
Subs: Rob Swaine, Paul Agu

Goals: Reece Prestedge 19, Jordan Robertson 34 (penalty), Adam Bailey-Dennis 58, Duncan Culley 71, Louis Dennis 74

Booked: Reece Prestedge 75, Ali Fuseini 75

Grays Athletic: Conor Gough, Aaron Best, Jay Siva, Joseph Zerafa (Akwasi Marfo 60), Manny Parry, Jay Leader, Mark Bentley, Kenny Beaney (Jordan Wilson 72), Jamie Guy (Chris Bryan 64), Freddie Ladapo, Joao Carlos.
Subs: Dumebi Dumaka, Ed Wooton, John Giowacki, Ben Sampayo

Booked: Chris Bryan 90

Attendance: 455
Referee: Mr Ryan Atkin (Sydenham Hill, London SE26)
Assistants: Mr Alex Gray (Lambeth, London SE11) & Mr Jonathan Creswick