Evesham United 1-2 Bromley - They gave us one hell of a game, admits Mark Goldberg

Saturday 25th October 2014

The FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round
Saturday 25th October 2014
Stephen McCartney reports from Jubilee Stadium

BROMLEY manager Mark Goldberg says he was under pressure to guide the club to The FA Cup First Round for the fifth time in eight years after his side survived a battering from Evesham United.

Bromley midfielder Danny Waldren, 25, scored both goals and a brilliant goalkeeper display from Seb Brown, 24, ensured the fifth-placed Vanarama Conference South side ended Evesham United’s seven game run in the competition.

Bromley took around 150 fans to Worcestershire and the ones that travelled by supporters’ coach endured a nightmare trip.  Their coach struck an object in the car park at Hayes Lane and instead of leaving at 09:30 they had to wait for a replacement coach to arrive from Gillingham before getting their journey underway just before eleven o’clock. Thankfully, they arrived at 14:30 and endured a nervous 90 minutes against lower league opposition in an enthralling FA Cup tie.

Waldren eased the nerves by opening the scoring inside the opening six minutes, before Evesham levelled through Ashley Edenborough’s header eight minutes before the break.

Waldren headed home his seventh goal of the season to win it for Bromley, who had Brown to thank for making three world-class saves to knock out an Evesham United side that were a credit to the Southern League Division One South & West (where they lie in eleventh-place).
“Today feels like the best of all,” said Goldberg after he left a jubilant changing room.

“It’s a bit of a milestone for the club, a milestone for me, to get there five times in eight years and this was probably, on paper, the easiest route through and basically because of the teams that we were drawn against but also the quality of the squad that we have.

“But each game has been as difficult as every game as we’ve ever had in The FA Cup. 

“I would have taken, again today, I would have taken a draw, I really would. I would have been happy to grind out a draw.”

The Robbins had defeated Kidsgrove Athletic 3-1 in the Preliminary Round back in August, before needing a couple of games to beat Redditch United and then Histon, before Chalfont St Peter were beaten 4-1 in the last round to set up a home tie against Goldberg’s side.

Bromley sealed a flattering 5-1 home win over ten-man Uxbridge in the Second Qualifying Round, before being held to a goalless draw at Ryman Premier League Grays Athletic.

Bromley’s 5-0 replay win at Hayes Lane over the Essex side was the Kent club’s largest FA Cup victory in 32 years.

Evesham United attracted their largest crowd of the season and the 811 fans inside Jubilee Stadium witnessed a typical FA Cup tie with Evesham United giving Bromley a scare.

Goldberg said on the eve of the game that he wanted his side to do a professional job and they took the lead inside six minutes to put their minds at ease.

Brown launched a big kick up field and Moses Ademola played the ball into Louis Dennis on the left and he cut the ball back for Waldren to place his right-footed shot to Kevin Sawyer’s left from 12-yards.

“The goals came. We got a goal early which helps,” added Goldberg.

“We never really settled in our game plan. The conditions were again very difficult, very windy and they unsettled us.

“I felt they were first to every ball in the first half. We didn’t really have the confidence to start playing at any time.  They didn’t allow us to play but at the end of the day we got the goals that mattered.”

Brown pulled off his first brilliant save as early as the eighth minute when he dived full length high to his left to push away Lance Smith’s left-footed shot on the turn from a tight angle, which was destined for the top far corner.

The Bromley boss added: “There were some defining moments. Seb’s pulled off a fantastic save.”

George Washbourne’s free-kick towards the edge of the Bromley box was cleared and the ball came out to midfield play-maker Marcus Jackson, who blasted his first time drive high over the Bromley crossbar.

Elliot Kennedy then danced his way past Bromley left-back Joe Anderson to cut into the penalty area and Brown made a comfortable save to gather low to his right at his near post.

Waldren gave the ball away and this gave Evesham striker Edenborough a sniff at goal on a one-on-one, but Brown came off his line to make a fine block to his left after 18 minutes.

Bromley weathered the early storm from the home side and Louis Dennis swung in a corner from the left towards the near post but winger Pierre Joseph-Dubois sent his free header sailing wide of the target.

Dennis then penetrated the Evesham defence down the left but his speculative angled drive was gathered by Sawyer.

Bromley right-back Ugo Udoji whipped in a great cross from the right but Joseph-Dubois’ near post header glanced into Sawyer’s gloves from inside the six-yard box.

A long throw from Udoji fell at an unmarked Ademola on the edge of the Evesham box but he dinked his right-footed shot across goal and past the far post.

Bromley stung Sawyer’s fingers when Waldren’s crossfield ball was brought down under control by Ademola, who teed up Jordan Robertson, whose left-footed volley was well held by the keeper to his right.

But Evesham’s dream of reaching The FA Cup First Round for only the second time in their history was back on when Edenborough scored his eighth goal of the season after 37 minutes.

Washbourne swung in a corner from the right and Edenborough flicked his header across Brown from inside a crowded penalty area to find the far corner and the Jubilee Stadium erupted.

Goldberg said: “We were very angry with the way that we conceded the goal, although the way we conceded that first goal is disappointing so I’ll have to look at that.

“Ugo’s (Udoji) who was at fault for their goal.  He allowed the number nine to come in. He got a header or something on it. I don’t know if it was a clean header or if it came off his back for their goal but he made up for it with a fantastic block in the second half.  That’s where you want your players to put their bodies on the line so for me Ugo has redeemed himself tor the mistake with the corner.”

Bromley almost grabbed the lead just before half-time.

Brown’s long kick straight down the middle of the pitch was flicked on by Joseph-Dubois and released Ademola through on goal.  The 25-year-old striker saw Sawyer advance of his line and hooked a delicate right-footed chip over the keeper but Evesham defender Linden Dovey showed desire to get back to hook the ball off the line.

“At the time I felt we were wasteful,” admitted Goldberg.

”I think we had some good opportunities.  I felt we had some good opportunities with good possession in front of the goal.

“We were forcing the ball, maybe too often and Moses got in some good positions but his final ball wasn’t good enough and then he had that chance where he lobbed the keeper and it just didn’t fall for us.”

Goldberg admitted that he was angry with his team and had to raise his troops for the second half.

“We went back out.  I had to calm things down a bit and let them know that we haven’t lost the game,” he said.

“We’ve got to now make sure that we’ve got to get ourselves together and we get back to playing to our game plan.

“I thought second half we were better.”

Brown pulled off his second world-class save to deny Evesham scoring only 59 seconds into the second half.

Washbourne cut inside Robertson down the right channel and cut the ball back to Jackson, who from fourteen-yards unleashed a right-footed curler, which was destined to find the top far corner, but Brown dived high to his right to push the shot over the crossbar, leaving the talented midfielder holding his head in his hands in despair.

But Bromley grabbed what turned out to be the winner with 50 minutes on the clock.

Dennis swung in their fourth corner from the right and Waldren planted his header into the left-hand corner to the delight of the travelling fans behind the goal.

“Goals change games, don’t they,” said Goldberg, who heaped praise on Waldren, who has been at Hayes Lane since July 2011.

“Danny Waldren, again, what a masterful captain, leader he’s been for us. I can only just say how pleased I am of them that we’ve managed to come away from home, in difficult conditions and what could have been a banana skin and made sure that we got through to the next round so I’m delighted.

“I mean that’s two for Danny. He’s been amazing the guy.  We step up our squad, the quality of our squad and he just steps up with it.  Two fantastic goals from Danny Waldren. Oh mate, Danny Waldren. What can you say? Fantastic!”

Rob Swaine returned to the heart of Bromley’s defence for the first time in seven weeks and he played a key role as Evesham United threw the kitchen sink at a Bromley side that soaked up the pressure immensely.

There was a lull in play until Evesham United were presented with a great chance to equalise with 21 minutes left.

Washmore clipped his left-footed free-kick over the wall from 25-yards, but Brown made his third quality save, diving to his left to push over the bar.

Goldberg said: “Seb’s pulled off three saves.  I think they’re good height for him because a goalkeeper you’d expect (him to save them) but still top corner jobs. He did well.”

Bromley were keen to hit their hosts on the break and substitute Mitchell Pinnock was released by Dennis but drilled his shot harmlessly wide of the near post from the angle.

Evesham camped themselves in the Bromley half for the final fifteen minutes and the Ravens’ goal led a charmed life.

Goldberg said: “I felt they kept having a go at us all the way through, right until the end.

“While its one goal in it you always think that it’s not over yet until the final whistle at the end.

“You know when you’ve got nothing to lose in a Cup game, you’re going to throw that extra big man up front and going to go for it aren’t you.  In a way we did really well didn’t we?”

Edenborough drilled a 30-yard drive, which took a deflection and sailed past the diving Brown, who was relieved to see the ball scream narrowly past the far post.  They say you always need a slice of luck to progress in The FA Cup.

Evesham substitute Jack Watts nipped in front of two Bromley defences but sent his chip straight at Bromley’s man-of-the-match Brown, who advanced off his line to read the danger.

Bromley squandered a couple of decent chances to kill off their plucky opponents.

Anderson floated in a free-kick with his left-foot from the right and the unmarked Joseph-Dubois saw his free header sail past the far post from eight-yards before a break from substitute Duncan Culley saw the former Shortwood United striker curl his shot harmlessly wide of the far post.

Goldberg added: “Pierre had three or four that really, it could have been more convincing but I don’t care now. Winning 5-0, 2-1, 1-0, who cares, we’re through to the next round!”

Evesham United continued to scare Bromley as they threw men forward to earn a replay at Hayes Lane, but they failed to beat the brilliant Brown again.

Bromley had another chance to wrap up the victory at the death, when Pinnock laid the ball off to Joseph-Dubois, whose low angled drive was saved by Sawyer low to his left.

But the final whistle brought relief to Goldberg and the travelling fans and Bromley can now look forward to Monday’s draw (19:00 on BBC2).  Bromley will be ball number 77.

It was such a nervous game for Bromley but Goldberg was relieved to have got through.

He said: “I can tell you how relieved I am. How much pressure I was feeling and it means so much to me personally as well as the club, as well as the players.

“I’ve got such a good squad now. I don’t want to waste the opportunity of having such a good team to be able to show what they can do, you know what I’m saying, in a Cup competition.

“It’s a wonderful competition for non-league clubs. It always means so much to them so now I’m going to start enjoying it but I couldn’t allow to even think about going through until the final whistle.

“It was all credit to them. They (Evesham) gave us one hell of a game, but I think the quality, possibly, just shone through in the end.”

Goldberg has faced and lost to League One sides Gillingham, Colchester United, Leyton Orient and Fleetwood Town, so when asked about his favourable draw in the First Round in two weeks’ time, the Bromley boss said: “Possibly we’d even fancy having a lesser team that we could get through to the Second Round.

“I’m just so pleased we’re through to the First Round. I can’t tell you how happy I am.  I’m absolutely on a high.

“You know, for me personally as a manager to do it five times in eight years for Bromley, I’m pleased that I’ve achieved that because at the end of the day we’ve done it before with lesser squads so there was even more pressure on me to do it this year.”

It would be a reward for the club to be drawn at home in the First Round.  The only First Round tie that was at Hayes Lane during Goldberg’s reign was against Colchester United.

“It will be nice to commercially get a good team. It depends on the team. It could be better commercially to be away but look we’ll take what’s coming. 

“To get to the First Round is a minimum achievement that I really set myself and I’m so delighted we got there so let’s see what happens.

“Let’s hope everyone goes back to the Ravens Bar & Grill (at Hayes Lane) tonight celebrating.”

Evesham United: Kevin Sawyer, Jared Wilson, Lewis Binns, Marcus Jackson (Nathan Jackson 85), Matt Sysum, Linden Dovey, Elliot Kennedy (Jack Watts 73), Carl Brown, Ashley Edenborough, Lance Smith, George Washbourne (Kevin Slack 87).
Subs: Liam Harding, Michael Tambling, Aaron Drake, Sean Wood

Goal: Ashley Edenborough 37

Booked: Lewis Binns 40, Marcus Jackson 66, George Washbourne 72, Matt Sysum 87

Bromley: Seb Brown, Ugo Udoji, Joe Anderson, Danny Waldren, Rob Swaine, Jack Holland, Pierre Joseph-Dubois, Reece Prestedge, Jordan Robertson (Mitchell Pinnock 73), Moses Ademola (Duncan Culley 61), Louis Dennis.
Subs: Adam Bailey-Dennis, Ali Fuseini, Adam Birchall, Paul Rodgers, Harry Grant

Goals: Danny Waldren 6, 50

Booked: Moses Ademola 27, Reece Prestedge 52, Danny Waldren 66, Louis Dennis 72, Ugo Udodji 75, Duncan Culley 90

Attendance: 811
Referee: Mr Robert Massey-Ellis (Coventry, West Midlands)
Assistants: Mr Mark Billingham (Brierley Hill, West Midlands) & Mr Philip Hardisty (Dudley, West Midlands)
Fourth Official: Mr Jonathan Price (Stourbridge, West Midlands)