We're hoping we can challenge Torquay all the way, says Bromley boss Mark Goldberg

Friday 09th January 2015
BROMLEY manager Mark Goldberg says he is relishing the underdog tag for tomorrow’s game at Torquay United.

The Ravens are travelling down to Devon on Friday for an overnight stay ahead of their FA Trophy Second Round tie at Plainmoor.

Torquay United sit in tenth-place in the Vanarama Conference table, having won 11 and drawn nine of their 30 league games.  The Gulls are four points adrift of fifth-placed Kidderminster Harriers, who came from behind to win 2-1 at Dartford last Sunday.

Torquay United have lost three league games at Plainmoor this season and manager Chris Hargreaves told http://www.torquayunited.com/: "It’s a good game because we’re at home and not travelling all over the country.

“It will be a test and I don’t mind that. It’s good for our players to keep experiencing tough games.

“Bromley are a good side, looking to get promoted to our league and a real stern test, but we’re also a good side.  The players have to keep believing that.  We’re still able to make the play-offs and still in this competition.

“We have the chance to play in a Cup Final and that’s what we want. These games are never easy and Bath won away at Bristol Rovers and they were excellent on the day.

“It’s good to be away from the league just for a weekend and if we can get through, we’ve got a real eye on the prize.  I don’t see it as a distraction, it’s a big opportunity.”

Torquay United reached The FA Trophy Final in their first season in it but they lost 1-0 to Ebbsfleet United at Wembley Stadium in the 2008 Final.

This season, Hargreaves’ side came away from Vanarama Conference South side Bishop’s Stortford with a 5-0 win in The FA Trophy First Round.

Bromley arrive in the English Riviera unbeaten in all thirteen league and cup games on the road this season –and Goldberg wants to extend that impressive run of form.

The Ravens needed two games to beat their Kent rivals Tonbridge Angels, before getting past another Ryman Premier League side in the shape of Leiston 2-0 in the last round.

“We anticipate that Torquay will put out a full-strength squad and won’t be taking us lightly,” said Goldberg, who has guided the Kent club to the FA Cup First Round five times in nine years.

“We’re hoping ourselves to be as well-prepared as we can be to be able to challenge Torquay all the way with a hope that we can grind out at least a draw.

“We’re going there full of confidence and looking forward to the day out.

Goldberg has certainly done their homework on their full-time opponents.

He said: “I think they’re taking it seriously because there’s a few Conference Premiership clubs that have already exited the tournament so they’ll see it as an opportunity for silverware – but we’re also looking to have a run in the Trophy this year.

“We’re going there confident enough that we can grind out a result.

“Our away record has been good this year and in the Cup competitions we’ve played teams that are in lesser leagues than ourselves and this is the first time where we’ve had to challenge ourselves that we’ve had to be seen as the underdog.  It’s a new experience for us but one that we’re looking forward to.”

Bromley were knocked out of The FA Cup by Vanarama Conference strugglers Dartford 4-3 at Hayes Lane in a First Round epic.

At least 100 fans will be making the trip from Kent for the game and Goldberg wants to produce a giant-killing to reach the FA Trophy Third Round (last sixteen) for the third time in their history.

“How can it be won there? – we have to be in the game after sixty minutes and if we are I believe that we have the players within the squad to be able to impact the game at a later stages of the game so we have to make sure that after 60 minutes we’re still in the game.”

With his side sitting in second-place in the Vanarama Conference South – with 43 points from 22 games and five points behind Boreham Wood with three games in hand – most Bromley fans will see tomorrow’s game as a marker as to what the club will be facing, should they be playing top-flight football next season.

“The priority is to get promoted,” said Goldberg.

“If we can try and have a run and enjoy the experience we’d like to have more than one day out at a club like Torquay.

“This is a test of where we’ve come and how far we are away as a squad of getting promoted.”

Bromley are five points clear of seventh-placed Ebbsfleet United, who have signed striker Danny Kedwell from Gillingham and ex-Wycombe Wanderers captain Stuart Lewis, 27, during the week.

“I expected that to happen,” admitted Goldberg, who doesn’t have the same kind of budget at his disposal as rival boss Jamie Day.

“Our squad is a good quality squad, but unfortunately when we have injuries it does impact our ability to put a strong bench.  If we can stay injury free, we have a good chance of competing until the end of the season.”

The Ravens had a light training session today on one of the 3G pitches at Hayes Lane before boarding the coach to Devon.

“We worked on our game plan for tomorrow and we’ve got an overnight stay. It’s a long journey but we’ll be nice and fresh tomorrow for the game.”

Should tomorrow’s game end in a draw, the replay will take place at Hayes Lane next Tuesday, 13 January (7:45pm), which will cause the postponement of a vital league game away to Basingstoke Town, who will climb above Bromley into second-place should they beat Eastbourne Borough tomorrow.

Visit Bromley’s website: http://www.bromleyfc.net/  

Torquay United  v  Bromley
The FA Trophy Second Round
Saturday 10th January 2015
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Plainmoor, Torquay, Devon TQ1 3PS