Having earned a first round replay, Bromley welcomed league Bristol Rovers to a packed Hayes Lane. The home side were looking to build on the momentum created by a spectacular second half comeback against Harrogate Town and book a place in the Second round, a feat they had not achieved for fifty four years. Whereas the visitors hoped to put to bed a bad omen which had seen them exit the FA cup twice in the last four seasons to Non-league opposition.
With the game still in its early stages Bristol Rovers took the lead in the third minute, when Chris Bush had his pass intercepted and from the resulting cross, a the Bromley defence failed to clear the ball following a goalmouth scramble, Jonson Clarke-Harris bundled the ball home to give the visitors the lead.
Bromley responded well to going a goal behind and were immediately on the front foot with, Luke Coulson cutting in from the left flank onto his favoured right foot but he could only drag his effort and it rolled harmlessly passed the upright.
Coulson was once again in the action as he cut in from the same side delivering a pinpoint ball into the six yard box but the Rovers defence did well to back-peddle and nod the ball behind with nothing coming from the resulting corner.
Clarke-Harris drew Bush into a challenge and cleverly shifted the ball to beat the Bromley man, before unleashing a venomous strike across goal with his right foot. Ryan Huddart was beaten, but glad to see it whistle past the post.
Reeco Hackett-Fairchild did well and drove at the Rovers left back, did really well to beat him, he then cut in and angled a ball towards the back post but it just evaded a despairing dive from Michael Cheek.
A good spell of pressure followed from Bromley, as a combination between Billy Bingham and Frankie Raymond managed to work a crossing position for Joe Kizzi, who put a good ball into the box. It was met by Coulson, who attempted the acrobatic, but despite a good connection it sailed high and wide.
A superb counter attack from Bromley after Bush put a raking ball out to Hackett-Fairchild followed, and once more he had the better of his opposite number. He cut in onto his favoured left foot and unleashed a strike towards the near post, but Tony Craig did well to block the shot and prevent Jordi Van Stappershoef having to make a save.
With the lilywhites piling on the pressure, Sam Wood delivered a well directed ball into Cheek who was able to round the keeper and slot the ball home, but the Bromley jubilation was soon cut short by the assistant, who had raised his flag for offside, and the score remained 0-0 going into the break.
Following a good spell of Rovers pressure in the opening stages of the second half, Bromley hit their League One opposition on the break and when Raymond hooked a ball over the defence and into the path of Hackett-Fairchild, he looked sure to hit the target but he lacked composure and blazed his effort high over the bar.
Following an entertaining opening to the second period the game had fizzled out with both sides trying to seize each other up once more.
Bromley then had a goal ruled out after Bush launched the ball into the box with a mammoth throw in, and the ball found its way into the back of the Rovers. However, the officials deemed that the ball hadn’t taken a deflection and the goal was ruled out.
In the closing stages of the game a deep free kick from Coulson found the head of Jack Holland, who managed to nod the ball back into the danger area to Rarmani Edmonds-Green. He only had the keeper to beat, but as the ball reached him on the volley, he snatched at the shot and was unable to get his effort on target.
Bristol Rovers managed to see out the remaining six minutes of additional time to seal the one goal victory over a Bromley side who fought superbly across both games and at no point looked massively outclassed by a side who are two divisions above them. The Ravens attention now turned to the league where they will be facing Sutton United and will hope to get back to winning ways.
Bromley XI: Huddart, Kizzi, Wood, Holland (C), Coulson, Raymond (Edmonds-Green), Cheek, Bingham, Bush, Reeco Hackett-Fairchild (Mekki), Josh Rees (Klass)
Unused subs: Najia, Higgs, Dunne, Tanner
Attendance: 4558 (240 away supporters)
Report by Lewis Knox