20 May 2018

FULL TIME: Brackley Town 1-1 Bromley (5-4 pens)

  • Men's

Bromley at Wembley, and unfortunately what was meant to be is that Bromley would finish the FA Trophy as runners up in a cruel end for the Ravens. A 95th minute equaliser and penalties, the worst way to lose were both realities Bromley would suffer.

After a bright opening quarter of an hour, the game was end to end but it was the Ravens who had the best opportunity. The ball came in from the right-hand side and George Porter headed over from 5 yards but the offside flag had already been raised.

It wouldn’t be long before a break through and it came from Omar Bugiel, after a sensational run from Adam Mekki. Having picked the ball up at the half way line he drove at the Brackley defence and reached the edge of the box and picked out Omar Bugiel in acres of space and from 12 yards he drilled it into the far corner with his left foot in the 20th minute.

After the water break on the 25th minute, the game opened up once again with Bromley looking to add a second. However, it was Brackley who were on the front foot for the first time in the match creating a couple of chances which was dealt well with by the Bromley backline and David Gregory.

As the half drew to a close, clear-cut chances were few and far between with long range efforts from Louis Dennis and one from Brackley’s Shane Byrne trickled passed the post from 25 yards. Bromley would go in at half time 1-0 to the good.

Brackley were quick out the blocks in the second half and were trying to create opportunities but they were met by a stern Bromley defence each time. Bromley’s first attack of the half was the most dangerous, after a terrific corner from Frankie Sutherland it was met by Jack Holland who headed towards goal but Danny Lewis in the Brackley goal kept it out to prevent Bromley from doubling their advantage.

Brackley were not deterred and created their own dangerous opportunity with James Armson firing just wide from 18 yards. The opening stages of the second half matched the first half. Louis Dennis shook off his opponent at the half way line and ran at the Brackley defence before cutting it back to the edge of the box. Frankie Sutherland was there waiting but his effort curled away from the left-hand post.

Two sensational blocks from Jack Holland and then David Gregory kept Brackley out. After good work from Brackley, the ball was played across and Aaron Williams thought he must have scored but Holland was there to deflect over. From the resulting corner Gregory pushed an effort onto the post as Town piled on the pressure.

The pressure kept coming from Brackley and with Williams through one on one with Gregory, the Bromley goalkeeper saved again before the follow up which was expertly read by Roger Johnson and it was cleared off of the line. James Armson then had the best opportunity, 10 yards out and tried to place it but put it high and wide with Gregory scrambling.

Bromley were trying to regain control of the game and Hanlan seemed to be through one on one and was about to pull the trigger, but an excellent recovering tackle from Gareth Dean prevented the Bromley subsitute from making it 2-0. However, Brackley were not lying down and the only opportunities Bromley were getting were on the counter attack.

Into the final 10 minutes, Bromley were trying to take the sting out of the game, slow the pace down and take any momentum out of Brackley’s attempts. With the time ticking away Brackley attempted to exploit the left flank but ultimately hit the same brick walls once they got there. Hanlan had an opportunity to put the result beyond doubt but Danny Lewis again came out on top.

A minimal of 5 minutes stoppage time was to be played. 2 and a half minutes to play and Brackley were on top, like the majority of the second half, but time and time again their efforts were met by Gregory.

Eventually the pressure paid off for Brackley and after striking the post yet again, and it was bundled in on the rebound by Gareth Dean, via Roger Johnson’s foot. 1-1 the game was to go to extra time. A combination of Bromley not finishing their opportunities and Brackley’s pressure, gave them a deserved equaliser. Adam Mekki was deservedly announced as man of the match.

The opening ten minutes began with Brackley on the ascendency, carrying on from the end of normal time. As legs began to tire even more, the play slowed down, allowing Bromley the chance to try and regain composure. Bromley had made all 3 subs in normal time, so would need to stick to their guns. 

Bromley created their first opportunity of extra rime with a free kick whipped in by Frankie Raymond but it was headed wide by Bugiel. Bromley started to build up some momentum of their own as more space appeared with Raymond shooting speculatively wide from 25 yards.

Brackley found some more energy in the tank and surged forward. They had a cross flash across the box but thankfully there was no takers. 3 minutes to play and it looked like there still could be a winner without the requirement of penalties. Both teams providing an excellent spectacle of end to end football even with some heavy legs. Brackley had 1 final chance but their header going over the bar would be the end of extra time. Penalties would decide who would be taking home the FA Trophy.

After 4 excellently placed penalties from Bromley and a save from Gregory, Omar Bugiel and Jack Holland missed for Bromley, presenting Andy Brown with a chance to win it for his side, and he duly did so, confidently slotting home.

Bromley XI: Gregory, Holland (C), Raymond, Dennis (Hanlan 68th Minute) , Mekki (Chorley, 72nd minute), Higgs, Sterling, Porter (Rees,61st Minute) , R. Johnson, Sutherland, Bugiel

Substitutes not used: Dunne, Johnson

Attendance: 31, 430

Report by Ross Grant // @Rossg98

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