Brackley Town lifted the 2018 Buildbase FA Trophy in dramatic style following a penalty shoot-out victory over Bromley at Wembley.
The National League North outfit came back from the brink of defeat in 90 minutes, as captain Gareth Dean equalised in the dying seconds of stoppage time to take the game to extra time.
- Brackley win 5-4 on penalty shoot-out
- The Buildbase FA Trophy Final
- Sunday 20 May 2018
- Wembley Stadium connected by EE
- Live on BT Sport
And they held their nerve during the shoot-out, with Andy Brown calmly slotting home after Bromley skipper Jack Holland had clipped the post with his attempt in the first round of sudden death.
It’s a first FA Trophy title for the Midlands-based club, who looked down and out after spurning a string of chances to equalise before the late drama.
A first-half strike from Omar Bugiel had put Bromley on course for victory, but Brackley’s strong show after the break meant extra time was the least they deserved.
But an equaliser in the dying seconds of second-half stoppage time from Brackley captain Gareth Dean saw them draw deservedly level to take this game the distance.
Bugiel’s opener came within 20 minutes, after a piercing run from Adam Mekki from just inside the Brackley half. He slid a pass into the Lebanese international and he did the rest by firing a low shot past Danny Lewis to break the deadlock.
Bromley almost doubled their lead seven minutes later when George Porter’s volley in the area was well saved by Lewis as the National League side looked to take advantage.
Brackley weren’t without their chances though with Matt Lowe proving a nuisance for Bromley full-back Tyrone Sterling down the right and at times, it was hard to tell there’s a division between the two teams.
And James Armson was so close to bringing Brackley level early in the second half when he rolled a low left-footer narrowly wide of the post as they enjoyed their best spell of the game.
Armson came even closer just before the hour mark when he struck a shot against the base of the post after a goalmouth scramble and then Bromley keeper David Gregory had to make a smart save to block Adam Walker’s angled shot.
And the chances kept falling to Armson, as Glenn Walker’s pull-back picked him out with the goal at his mercy soon after that but the midfielder fired high and wide.
Bromley keeper Gregory was performing heroics to try and keep his team in the game, but with just seconds left in stoppage time, Brackley’s pressure paid off.
After a string of corners had been defended, Lowe’s shot from the edge of the box through a crowd of players bounced back off the post and Dean was there to tap home and take the game to extra time.
With the teams out of steam in the ensuing 30 minutes, it was down to spot-kicks as Brackley ran out heroes to get their name on the Trophy.
Brackley Town: 1 Danny Lewis, 2 Matt Lowe, 3 Connor Franklin, 4 Shane Byrne, 5 Alex Gudger, 6 Gareth Dean (C), 7 Glenn Walker, 8 James Armson, 9 Lee Ndlovu, 10 Aaron Williams, 11 Adam Walker.
Substitutes: 14 Andy Brown for Ndlovu 53, 12 Ellis Myles for Franklin 78, 17 Steve Diggin for Lowe 111
Substitutes not used: 15 Luke Graham, 16 Theo Streete
Manager: Kevin Wilkin
Goals: Gareth Dean 90+4
Brackley penalties: Shane Byrne missed, Aaron Williams scored, Steve Diggin scored, James Armson scored, Glenn Walker scored, Andy Brown scored
Bromley: 1 David Gregory, 6 Jack Holland (C), 8 Frankie Raymond, 10 Louis Dennis, 11 Adam Mekki, 14 Jordan Higgs, 16 Tyrone Sterling, 18 George Porter, 19 Roger Johnson, 21 Frankie Sutherland, 25 Omar Bugiel.
Substitutes: 4 Josh Rees for Porter 62, 9 Brandon Hanlon for Dennis 68, 5 Ben Chorley for Mekki 72
Substitutes not used: 2 Alan Dunne, 15 Dan Johnson
Manager: Neil Smith
Goal: Omar Bugiel 19
Bromley penalties: Frankie Sutherland scored, Frankie Raymond scored, Brandon Hanlan scored, Josh Rees scored, Omar Bugiel misses, Jack Holland misses
Referee: Chris Kavanagh
Assistant referees: Dan Cook & Daniel Bobathan
Fourth official: Michael Salisbury