Alternative Season Review: August

Bromley Football Club - The away dressing room at Woking
The away dressing room at Woking

With the season done and dusted General Manager and Club Secretary Jeff Hutton shares an alternative, slightly off the field story of our first season in the Vanarma National League one month at a time.

Bromley Football Club - A wonderful debut game at Hayes Lane
A wonderful debut game at Hayes Lane

Sat 8th Aug 2015 – Bromley 3-1 Wrexham – Att: 2,083

The day had come, our first game, our debut. Twenty minutes in and we were 1-0 down. ‘Welcome to the National League’ we all thought. Minutes later a delightful free-kick swung in by Anderson caused a scramble in the box and Sean Francis smashes the ball into the roof of the net! The atmosphere was brilliant and it only got better as Wall and Emmanuel gave us a 3-1 half time lead. We were top of the league at half time. A fantastic win in front of a great crowd at Hayes Lane. I honestly heard a few fellow supporters in the bar suggest we’re getting promoted to the Football League! Great day!

The Bromley faithful at Woking
The Bromley faithful at Woking

Tues 11th Aug 2015 – Woking 2-0 Bromley – Att: 1,570

Ah the illustrious Kingfield Stadium. All I ever recall about this place is losing a game in the dying minutes to a free-kick on the half way line which should have been given our way but instead went Wokings way. It resulted in the ball being launched in our box before ending up in the back of the net. This night would be just as frustrating with Rob Swaine and Lee Minshull both coming off injured in the first half and Bromley being denied two penalties in the second. 2-0 defeat.

The glamorous entrance to our dressing room at Grimsby
The glamorous entrance to our dressing room at Grimsby

Sat 15th Aug 2015 – Grimsby Town 4-1 Bromley – Att: 4,731

Grimsby Town, this is more like it, big stadium, big crowd (4,731 to be precise!) We were apparently sitting in (formerly) one of the oldest football league stands and press box with a brilliant view of the Bromley supporters behind the goal who had made the trip. It was also the first test of our new live commentary offering which we decided to put in place for those supporters unable to make the long journeys. Having just signed Callum Davies on loan the Thursday night and jumping on the coach Friday morning for the overnight stay we had to broker a deal with the Grimsby kit manager to borrow some letters, numbers and his heat press which was located in the Club Shop! The twenty or so Grimsby supporters in the Club Shop were obviously delighted to wait for their shirt printing while I jumped in and added a name and number to a Bromley shirt. £10 in the Grimsby Supporters Trust tin got them back on side and we enjoyed a few pleasantries. A change of formation and a game to forget other than a Davies header which sent the travelling Bromley supporters wild and silenced the other 4,700 or so home fans for a few moments. One live commentary game done, one defeat.

Tue 18th Aug 2015 – Bromley 1-2 Braintree Town – Att: 775

A fantastic opening day win had been forgotten by many after two straight defeats and the idea of Braintree Town on a Tuesday night failed to reignite the imagination of many with a poor crowd at Hayes Lane. 2-0 down just after the break and not even a lovely goal from Emmanuel could get us back into this one.

"It's 2-0 and Bromley must be taking all three points back to Hayes Lane..."
“It’s 2-0 and Bromley must be taking all three points back to Hayes Lane…”

Sat 22nd Aug 2015 – FC Halifax Town 2-2 Bromley – Att: 1,107

Second overnight stay of the season. Not a great start on Friday, coach trip to Manchester took almost nine (yes, nine!) hours with horrendous traffic. To lift spirits and get everyone in the ‘feel good’ place we arranged for a pre-match meal at Jurys Inn just down the road from our Premier Inn on Saturday. We got ourselves a lovely conference room booked out and I left the staff and players inside with their chicken pastas to arrange payment at reception. Our conference room was next to the main lounge of the hotel which had plenty of guests waiting for cabs, reading newspapers and having a cup of tea. As I completed the paperwork at the front desk all of a sudden all you could hear was laughing and banging of tables. A few of the team were doing their initiation and singing all kinds of songs which cumulated in a fantastic last song from Sean Francis and which got the whole room bouncing. It was brilliant. The atmosphere was electric. We got on the coach and I was adamant we were going to win. Chorley had a great debut and we were 2-0 up and cruising, but after his forced substitution late on two terrible individual errors cost us all three points. A heart breaking feeling for the supporters who had been in excellent voice in the main stand. (P.S. Ali Fuseini and Max Porter absolutely dominated the game from midfield that day!) Two live commentary games done, one defeat, one draw.

Sat 29th Aug 2015 – Bromley 1-1 Dover Athletic – Att: 1,273

Not sure what it is about Dover. There is just something. A scrappy game which saw the visitors gifted a goal with twenty minutes to go courtesy of poor defending before even worse defending from the visitors gifted us a penalty which Goldberg slotted home at the second attempt.

Mon 31st Aug 2015 – Forest Green Rovers 2-1 Bromley – Att: 1,764

Football tends not to be the best job in the world when you have a partner so an away trip to Forest Green Rovers turned into a weekend in the Cotswolds because ‘It’s not all about the football darling’. So I didn’t travel with the team and checked in with the guys on the coach via mobile to check on their progress. They were still on time despite a little set back. The coach had got blocked down a country road after the car in front broke down and the coach couldn’t pass. I wish I had been there to see kit man Dave, Neil and Mark helping the guy lift his car out of the way of our team coach! Back to football, despite going a goal down we responded through an Alex Wall header and easily looked a match for Forest Green but a scrappy goal put the home side back in the lead and the 2-1 defeat was compounded by an injury to Joseph-Dubois. Great moment mid way through the game as our supporters chanted ‘We want meat!’ having discovered only vegan burgers were on sale. Three live commentary games done, two defeats, one draw.

Next up, September…