Bromley welcomed League One high-flyers Peterborough United to Hayes Lane on Saturday afternoon, with the tie being the Ravens first home FA Cup draw in around four years.
Managed by Steve Evans, the visitors made a good start to the game, and with some neat passing moves, seemed to be full of confidence. Bromley, however, were brimming with spirit, and it was clear to see from the off that the Posh would not be in for an easy afternoon.
After the visitors controlled the opening ten minutes, it would be the Ravens who would have the first chance. A Frankie Sutherland corner was headed down at the back post to the waiting Omar Bugiel, but his back-heeled effort was well saved by Aaron Chapman.
After a half chance for the Posh, with Matt Godden heading into Gregory’s arms, Bromley’s spirit and determination almost paid dividends. A Frankie Raymond free kick was not cleared by the visitors’ defence, allowing Omar Bugiel to pick up the loose ball on the edge of the six yard box, but he agonisingly saw his low shot blocked on the line.
On 37 minutes, the impressive Adam Mekki broke away from his man and despite having options, opted to go all alone, eventually seeing his low shot easily saved by Chapman.
Yet, just three minutes later, and Bromley would be in dreamland. A classic Sutherland-Raymond set piece was lofted in towards the back post by the former, and the experienced Roger Johnson was on hand to beat Chapman to the ball and loop a header over the United ‘stopper and into the net, giving Bromley what was a well deserved lead.
However, just a minute before the break, and Bromley would be brought back down to earth. After giving away a free kick out wide on the right, Frankie Raymond was shown a straight red card by referee Kevin Johnson, meaning Bromley would need to see out over half the game with ten men.
And things went from bad to worse for the Ravens, as from the resulting free kick, Godden picked up a loose ball in the middle of a crowded box, and smashed an effort into the roof of the net, with virtually the last kick of the half.
After losing Omar Bugiel to injury early in the second half, Bromley would have to fight even more of an uphill battle, and the hill would only become more steep on 56 minutes, as the Posh took the lead for the first time in the game. A slick counter attack saw many blue shirts venture into the box, and former Ebbsfleet United man Godden was again in the right place at the right time and converted the cross, diverting it into the bottom corner, past the reach of the diving David Gregory.
Just six minutes later, it would be Gregory who Bromley would have to thank for keeping the score down. After receiving the ball on the edge of the box, space opened up for Jason Naismith, who absolutely leathered the ball at goal, only for Gregory to intervene with an incredible tip over the crossbar.
George Porter then almost single handedly orchestrated a pacy counter attack, but with three United defenders around him, his long run ended with a deflected shot, which looped into the arms of the imposing Chapman.
However, if there were any doubt, there wouldn’t be after 84 minutes, as Peterborough all but sealed their passage through to the second round. After another slick counter attack, Joe Ward went one on one with Gregory, and with time to pick his spot, he dispatched a low effort into the bottom corner.
Despite the scoreline, Bromley can be proud of matching the League One side for large parts of the game, as well as leading the game up until being reduced to ten men.
Bromley XI: Gregory, Sutherland, R.Johnson, Holland (C), Raymond, Bugiel (Quigley), Mekki (Goddard), Okoye (Craske), Porter, Wood, Brindley
Unused substitutes: Najia (GK), Dunne, Goodman, Rooney
Attendance: 3,107 (594 away)