It's great for Bromley to be invovled in a top-of-the-table clash, says boss Mark Goldberg

Monday 27th January 2014
BROMLEY manager Mark Goldberg has issued a rallying cry for passionate 90 minute support from home fans during their top-of-the-table showdown against Eastleigh on Tuesday night.

The Ravens sit proudly at the top of the Skrill (Conference) South table with 59 points from 25 games, eleven points clear of the Spitfires, who have three games in hand.

This is THE game that every Bromley supporter has been looking forward to all season!

It is the biggest home league game in Bromley’s seven year Conference South history, where a win over their full-time opponents could potentially see top flight non-league football played at Hayes Lane for the first time next season.

Bromley warmed up to the crunch game with a 2-1 home win over Hayes & Yeading United, while Eastleigh saw off third-place Ebbsfleet United with a 3-1 home win.

Goldberg reflected on his side’s nineteenth league win of the season.

He said: “We had a difficult task on Saturday because although we started relatively well, we didn’t take advantage of going 1-0 up, although we pressed for the second goal.

“By half-time they held in there and it gave them (Hayes & Yeading) confidence to come out for the second half with belief that they could get back into the game and unfortunately for us, although we had some pressure the longer the game went on, the more they believed they could get back into the game.

“We started giving away free-kicks and sitting too deep and inviting pressure on ourselves. They got a goal from a corner and fortunately we went straight up the other end and scored.

“For the remainder of the game we were relieved we hung in there and got the win – in terrible conditions at the end.”

Goldberg added: “It’s game likes that in the past we’ve lost our lead and we would lose games like that, so it shows a new resilience in the squad and we came away very happy that we’ve got the three points.”

Goldberg’s best signing of the season has come in the shape of influential skipper Rob Swaine, who smashed home his fifth goal of the season from a corner to give Bromley the lead.

Goldberg praised the former Billericay Town central defender.

“We’ve brought him in knowing that he’s averaged more than ten goals a season wherever he’s been so he’s brought into that for that reason. He’s not only a great leader but a centre half that can pop up and score goals.”

Hayes & Yeading United levelled with 12 minutes remaining, before fans’ favourite Nic McDonnell flicked home Albert Jarrett’s excellent cross to win it for Bromley within a minute.

Goldberg said: “It was made for a Nic McDonnell come back and Albert does what he does well.  His ability to cut inside and swing in crosses is second to none and the movement and intelligence of Nick McDonnell to get whatever he got on it, no matter what everybody says that without him making that run and at least if he got a nick on it, if he did or he didn’t, the goalkeeper would have saved it if it wasn’t for Nic McDonnell putting the goalkeeper off.

“It was a tremendous way to respond from the goal that we conceded.”

The Bromley boss was pleased that the club attracted their second largest crowd of the season when 1,066 flocked through the turnstiles to give the team the support that they deserve.

Bromley must compete with Premier League Crystal Palace and two clubs in the Championship, Charlton Athletic and Millwall.

“I was very pleasantly surprised that we managed to achieve a record for the season and breaking a thousand was excellent for us,” said Goldberg.

“We had a couple hundred school kids there from Hayes School there as well -  that helped.

“All in all it’s encouraging for a Saturday but we have to take on board that Palace, Charlton and Millwall were all away, so let’s hope the test will be whether the crowds continue to come as the season goes on.”

Bromley will be looking for a bigger crowd when Richard Hill brings his Eastleigh side to Hayes Lane on Tuesday night.

It’s a game that has gripped the town.

Goldberg is relishing the massive clash.

He said: “Well, every game seems to become the biggest game of the season so far so this is no different, other than we can’t deny the fact that it’s a big opportunity for both clubs to at least cement their position or improve their position.

“We’ll be looking forward to testing ourselves against the team that are without doubt still favorites to win the title.

“If we can gain any points, if we can grab a point tomorrow or gain points then it will be a tremendous achievement tomorrow night.

“I’m expecting that they will be extremely capable of causing us problems offensively – but I also believe that we can cause them some problems as well and the potential of it is that it will be a very entertaining and open game.”

A famous win on Bromley’s biggest night of Conference South football at Hayes Lane will certainly give the club a chance of winning their first league title since the Isthmian League (Ryman Premier League in today’s money) was won back in 1961.

Bromley’s loyal band of supporters has seen their club finish bridesmaids on five other occasions, finishing runners-up to Leytonstone Ilford (1979-80), St Albans City (1985-86), Yeovil Town (1987-88), Chesham United (1990-91) and Hampton & Richmond Borough in 2006-07.

Fifty-three years’ is a very long time to wait to claim a league title – but Bromley play sixteen more games after facing Eastleigh.

“Nothing’s been achieved by any team at this stage of the season but it’s certainly an opportunity for both teams to strengthen their position and whatever happens tomorrow night it will not determine the outcome of the season who wins the league,” said Goldberg.

“But at the same time it will be an opportunity. It’s great for Bromley to be involved in what people are calling a top-of-the-table clash at this stage of the season.  It’s something to be pleased to be part of.”

Goldberg has challenged home fans to bring out the songs off old and give their heroes passionate support to help see off their title rivals.

“Of course, the crowds can become a massive bonus for us if they get behind them.  They can actually act as a twelfth man,” added Goldberg.

“Let’s hope that we can get that support and we are able to gain that added advantage of being at home then all these little additions to what we’ve got can make a difference, so yes, we’ll be hoping the supporters are there in numbers and they make some noise.”

Admission prices:
£12 (adults); £6 (concessions); £5 (under 16s/students); £17 (family ticket – x1 adults and x2 kids)

Visit Bromley’s website:

Bromley  v  Eastleigh
Skrill South
Tuesday 28th January 2014
Kick Off 7:45pm
At Hayes Lane, Bromley, Kent BR2 9EF