Bromley progressed to the first round of the Emirates FA Cup after overcoming the challenge of Gloucester City.
This was new Gloucester manager Chris Todd’s first game in charge and despite the defeat, they could reflect positively on a close game against a strong side.
Gloucester have faced considerable adversity off the pitch in recent years, becoming homeless after floods in 2007 caused havoc with their stadium, and were struck by the news of Todd’s leukaemia diagnosis while he was playing for the club.
- Emirates FA Cup
- Fourth Round Qualifying
- Saturday 20 October
- at The Jubilee Stadium
- Winning club to receive £25,000
Anticipation was building at the Jubilee Stadium as kick-off approached, with the glint of tinfoil FA Cups appearing here and there among the crowd.
This was arguably the biggest game of the season so far for the two non-League sides with a place in the first round of the Emirates FA Cup up for grabs and the prospect of coming up against League One sides. A Gloucester fan told me: "This is the big one!" as kick-off approached, summing up the mood around the ground.
It was a tight game, with both sides defending resolutely. Despite pressure from Bromley, Gloucester defender and man mountain Jack Deaman was imperious in the air and continually kept the Lilywhites at bay.
The game was onto its fifth ball after only 25 minutes with players struggling to keep it within the ground!
Bromley then began to take control and had the best chance of the first half when Omar Bugiel went through one-on-one but struck wide from just inside the box.
The pressure continued after the break, and Bromley finally broke the deadlock five minutes into the second half with a wide free-kick from Frank Raymond that evaded everyone - including the Gloucester goalkeeper - to find the top corner.
Gloucester responded well and had their best chance just three minutes later when Joe Parker tested the keeper from the edge of the box, only for it to be parried away.
There was controversy soon after with Gloucester defender Sam Avery shown a yellow card for a late lunge on George Porter to prevent him going through on goal - a decision that was fiercely contested by Bromley manager Neil Smith.
Gloucester continued to push for an equaliser late on but failed to create another clear-cut chance. Bromley should have sealed it on the counter when Porter ran through several defenders but saw his shot rebound off the post.