Torquay United 4-0 Bromley - We're going to try and get a job done in the league now, says Goldberg

Saturday 10th January 2015

The FA Trophy Second Round
Saturday 10th January 2015
Stephen McCartney reports from Plainmoor

BROMLEY boss Mark Goldberg says he will have make-or-break talks with co-chairman Ashley Reading to bring in extra bodies to keep their title hopes alive after crashing out of The FA Trophy to Torquay United.

The Ravens were without central defenders Rob Swaine and Callum McNaughton, winger Pierre Joseph-Dubois and striker Jamie Slabber at Plainmoor – and as a result suffered their highest defeat of the season.

Goldberg, who was yesterday named Vanarama Conference South manager-of-the-month following an unbeaten December, was struck down with the curse as his side suffered their first defeat on the road in fourteen games, as Torquay United booked their place in the last sixteen.

Torquay United boss Chris Hargreaves is certainly taking The FA Trophy seriously, making just one change from the side that were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Alfreton Town last Sunday, which put them in tenth-place in the Vanarama Conference table with 42 points from 30 games.

Torquay United – who lost 1-0 to Ebbsfleet United in the 2008 FA Trophy Final at Wembley Stadium – received two lucky breaks to deserve their 2-0 lead at the break, as Ben Harding and Toby Ajala gave Bromley a mountain to climb.

Torquay United striker Ryan Bowman headed home his thirteenth-goal of the season to kill off the Ravens and the 114 fans who travelled up from Kent watched Ashley Yeoman come off the bench to score a fourth goal.

But Goldberg admitted before boarding the coach home that Swaine’s absence proved costly.

“It’s very disappointing having to make a change just before we put the team sheet in,” said the boss.

“Our captain Rob Swaine, who we were hoping would be fit and ready to play, was unfortunately not ready to play so we had to ask Danny Waldren to step in to centre half. As we know he is the heartbeat of our central midfield so from that moment we knew that we had a depleted squad.

“We were hoping that we could hang in there and at least put up a good fight but going two goals down in the way that we did (was always going to be a struggle).

“They started stronger than us, but I think then we got ourselves back into shape quite well and we also had some good possession and some good openings without any clear cut opportunities and then they scored two goals that were ricochets. 

“We were a little bit unfortunate to go in at half-time 2-0 down but when you go and try to get back into a game you leave yourself open at the back and they punished us.

“Although we had lots of very good possession and created openings we didn’t really test their keeper enough and anything that was to bounce the wrong way, the ball was bouncing for them rather than for us, where as they had ricochets that bounced in and we had ricochets that went straight into their keeper’s hands.

“It’s very disappointing but at the same time we were without Jamie Slabber, we were without Pierre Joseph-Dubois, we were without our captain Rob Swaine, we were without Callum McNaughton and we ended up with three on the bench that were able to play and one of them was an Academy boy (Eden Dewar-Douglas) whose never played first team football before so all in all we’ve just got to put things into perspective and know that we’ve got important fish to fry on Tuesday at Basingstoke away.”

Swaine was a massive loss for Bromley and Torquay United created four good goalscoring chances inside a dominant opening fifteen minutes.

The Gulls played the ball around their defence before skipper Luke Young played the ball into Toby Ajala, who swept the ball out to right-winger Jordan Chapell, who raced into the box and dragged his shot past the far post from 12-yards after only 186 seconds of play.

Ajala then slipped the ball past Bromley defender Jack Holland to put Bowman through on goal and he was denied by Brown’s outstretched right leg.

Durrell Berry then clipped the ball long from right-back to release Ajala through on goal and his low shot brought a smart low save from Brown, diving full-length to his right to delay the inevitable.

The Gulls were exploiting the flanks at every opportunity and Ajala – who was playing in the hole behind Bowman – swept the ball out to Chapell, who cut inside and his dinked shot flashed across goal and past the far post.

Goldberg admitted: “They drew us out wide and we left gaps in the middle but we put that right after 20 minutes.

“Yes, I mean they started the stronger of the two teams but I think we got ourselves back into the game.”

But Bromley weathered the storm  - on a very windy day - and created their first opening after seventeen minutes.

Jordan Robertson, 26, who played for the Gulls on loan back in 2006, powered his deflected diving header just over the bar from six-yards after the quiet Louis Dennis swung in a corner from the right.

Torquay winger Courtney Cameron and full-back Tom Cruise linked up down the left before Ajala played the ball inside and Young was given time and space to crack a right-footed drive flashing past the post from 35-yards.

Bromley’s first shot on target, meanwhile, arrived in the 22nd minute, but Moses Ademola didn’t have enough power and accuracy to score his eleventh goal of the season, rolling a shot into Jordan Seabrook’s hands from 25-yards.

Cameron swung in a corner from the right towards the near post but Harding couldn’t get the ball from underneath his feet and flicked his shot past the post from a tight angle.

Bromley striker Adam Birchall called Seabright into action when he powered his right-footed angled drive towards the near corner from 30-yards, which the keeper beat away and seconds later Dennis played the ball inside to Ali Fuseini, but the former Millwall midfielder’s shot lacked conviction and rolled into the keeper’s hands.

“We had some really good movement in the first half,” said Goldberg.

“We were always finding a pass and creating space for ourselves but we didn’t have the killer ball or we weren’t clinical enough in front of goal and that’s the difference between the two leagues.”

But Torquay United received their first bit of luck when they took a deserved 28th minute lead.

Left-winger Cameron played the ball inside to Harding, who cut on to his right foot and drilled his right-footed shot from 25-yards, which took a wicked deflection of Holland, flat-footing Brown as the ball looped into the near corner of the net.

“It’s a deflection of Jack’s back,” came Goldberg’s short reply.

He added: “But again, the two goals were scrappy goals and that killed us.”

Ademola then rolled the ball out to Birchall, who cut into the penalty area, but his right-footed chip was plucked out of the air by the Torquay keeper, high above his head.

But full-time Torquay United doubled their lead with 33 minutes on the clock, with yet another slice of luck.

Cameron skipped forward down the left before cutting the ball back to Bowman, who was denied by an excellent diving save from Brown.  The Bromley defence failed to clear their lines and when right-back Ugo Udoji attempted to do so, the ball hit Ajala and rolled apologetically across Brown’s despairing dive and nestled into the bottom far corner of the net – right in front of the shell-shocked Bromley fans at that end of the stadium.

“The second goal, Ugo was clearing it and hit it against one of their players’ backsides and went straight in,” said Goldberg.

“You could say that it was coming but to be honest with you I thought we had as much good possession but they got the breaks in the first half.”

Architect Ajala swept another pass out to Chapel on the right and he whipped in another cross, which had Udoji struggling to head clear and Harding clipped the ball back into the box for Cameron to nod over from eight-yards.

Ajala then turned Fuseini on the edge of the Bromley penalty area and drilled his right-footed shot over the bar, as Bromley faced a mountain to climb for the second half.

Goldberg said: “We still believed if we got a goal we could maybe stay in the game. The goal didn’t come and as the goal didn’t come they got the third to kill us off, but we carried on trying, we carried on pushing and we carried on trying to create chances. 

“We were very positive. We didn’t sit back and defend for the rest of the game, did we?”

Bromley created the first chance of the second half, but Robertson failed to impress on his return to Plainmoor.

Central midfielder Reece Prestedge played the ball out to Udoji, who ran down the right before floating over a cross towards the edge of the box but Robertson blasted his right-footed volley over the roof of the stand from sixteen-yards.

Young sung in a corner from the right into the Bromley box, but Aaron Downes came up from the back to plant his header across goal and behind.

But Torquay United killed the game off as early as the 56th minute, courtesy of Bowman’s header.

Cruise and Cameron linked up down the left channel and Cameron floated over a precise cross from the by-line, which under-fire Brown failed to gather and this allowed Bowman to head past him from three-yards.

Goldberg added: “Jack (Holland) lost his man. It was a deep cross and that was poor to give such freedom on the penalty spot. It was a disappointing goal to concede to be honest.”

Brown made amends, however, making a flying save to his left in the 61st minute to prevent Chapell curing a shot into the far corner from 15-yards after the winger latched onto Ajala’s pass in behind Udoji and make-shift central defender Danny Waldren.

But to their credit, Bromley pressed forward in search of a consolation goal.

They were to be denied that in the 66th minute when Birchall’s cross from the right found Dennis unmarked inside the box.

He hooked his shot towards the far corner, but Seabright made a great diving save to his right, the keeper recovering to make a comfortable save from Ademola’s follow-up.

Goldberg added: “We had half chances didn’t we and the keeper did have to pull off some saves.”

Fuseini then played the ball into Dennis on the right who cut he ball back to Ademola, whose shot was blocked on the edge of the box by a Torquay defender.

Dennis then swung in a corner from the right which was headed away and Prestedge’s right-footed shot from the edge of the box was sliced into the keeper’s hands by Gulls’ central defender Krystian Pearce, standing beside him.

But Torquay United wrapped up the scoring in the final eight minutes when Yeoman skipped his way in from the right before drilling a low left-footed shot past Brown, who could only look to his left to see the ball flash past him.

Goldberg said: “I don’t know, I felt maybe Seb could have done a bit better with the last two goals, inside post the fourth, maybe I’m being a bit unfair?

“We were chasing the game weren’t we? They hit us clinically on the break but I had my centre midfielder (Waldren) playing centre half so we always knew we were going to be vulnerable. We hoped we would get away with it – but we didn’t!”

Seabright rose his left-arm to push over Fuseini’s rasping right-footed drive over the Torquay United crossbar, but it proved to be too little too late for the Kent side.

The hosts created late chances to add to their score.

Six-goal substitute Louis Briscoe right-footed shot was caught by beleaguered Brown, before a second shot from the left-winger from the corner of the box screamed narrowly wide of the far post.

Brown then caught a shot from Harding, before Torquay United hit Bromley on the break through Chapell down the right, who played the ball inside to Briscoe, who teed up Young, who swept his first time shot past the left-hand post from two-yards out at the death.

While the travelling fans – some making it a weekend on the English Riviera - reflected on their worst result of the season – they will be hoping that Goldberg can bring in a new goalkeeper, defensive cover for Swaine and a prolific goalscorer to keep the club’s title hopes alive.

Boreham Wood extended their lead at the top of the Vanarama Conference South table to eight points, although the Ravens now have four games in hand.

Bromley remain in second-place in the table after third-placed Basingstoke Town wasted the chance to leapfrog over them after going down to a 3-0 defeat at Eastbourne Borough today.

And with seventh-placed Ebbsfleet United signing Danny Kedwell, Stuart Lewis, Matt Fish and Kelvin Langmead all from Football League clubs recently, Goldberg must bring in new players to keep the title bid on track.

“We might have to strength the side – it’s something that I have to have a chat with the chairman about,” admitted Goldberg.

“I think that we’re not far off. If this was our first league game we would learn a lot from it and improve and still believe that we can still compete at this level.

“We gave it a go. We didn’t sit back and take it and mope about it did we? We went out and we tried to get back in the game and in the end we lost 4-0 but we won’t lose any confidence from it.

“I know I had four very, very key players missing today and if you looked at the programme you look at the fact that they had 24 players on their rostrum and we had eighteen, of which four weren’t available so we gave ourselves a decent account but the scoreline made it look like it was a much worse defeat than it was, I think.”

Reflecting on the 114 fans that travelled to watch their fallen heroes, Goldberg added: “I thought they gave us great support but I already appreciate the fact that so many came but I also would like them to put it into perspective and hopefully realise that we had a depleted side today and at least we kept fighting.”

Looking ahead to the must-win trip to Basingstoke Town on Tuesday night, the Bromley boss added: “They lost 3-0. It’s a massive game for us. A great opportunity to get back on track.”

But the truth is Bromley urgently need more strength in depth to cope with a crippling injury crisis that they had for this game if they want to play Torquay United again - in the top-flight of non-league football – next season.

Goldberg said: “We know we’re not going to lose confidence from it. We’re going to try and get a job done in the league now.”

* It was agreed hours after the game that Bromley will now travel to Basingstoke Town on 24 January – FA Trophy Third Round day – and not this coming Tuesday.

Bromley’s next game is a trip to fourth-placed Whitehawk next Saturday.

Torquay United: Jordan Seabright, Durrell Berry, Tom Cruise, Aaron Downes, Krystian Pearce, Ben Harding, Jordan Chapell, Luke Young, Ryan Bowman (Ashley Yeoman 63), Toby Ajala (Louis Briscoe 69), Courtney Cameron (Angus MacDonald 81).
Subs: Martin Rice, Duane Ofori-Acheampong

Goals: Ben Harding 28, Toby Ajala 33, Ryan Bowman 56, Ashley Yeoman 82

Bromley: Seb Brown, Ugo Udoji, Joe Anderson (Eden Dewar-Douglas 80), Reece Prestedge, Danny Waldren, Jack Holland, Moses Ademola, Ali Fuseini, Jordan Robertson, Adam Birchall (Damian Scannell 69), Louis Dennis.
Subs: Paul Rodgers, Paul Agu

Attendance: 1,507 (114 away)
Referee: Mr Steven Rushton
Assistants: Mr Matthew Lee & Mr Robert Dabbs
Fourth Official: Mr Richard Morris