Neither Grays Athletic or Bromley could find a way through to goal at Mill Field last Saturday, as the two sides played out a goalless draw in the FA Cup Third Qualifying Round.
The day started in reflective fashion, as both sets of teams and their fans paused for a minutes silence, in memory of the fallen in World War 1, of which we celebrate the 100th anniversary this year. Grays captain, Kenny Beaney, laid a wreath to commemorate the lives that were so sadly lost a century ago.
The hosts had the better of the early stages, with a number of free-kicks and corners being forced, but the Ravens defence stood firm, keeping the match goalless until I arrived around 20 minutes in – having the whole of Thames Road (the road that links us to the Dartford bridge) shut off wasn’t well received!
Former Millwall man, Ali Fuseini, was shown the first caution of the game on 12 minutes, before a spell of Bromley pressure forced three corners in quick succession as the first half reached its halfway point. The home defence remained resolute as their Conference South opponents turned the screw and it was Jonathan Glowacki that became the second name in the referee’s notebook with 26 minutes on the clock.
Harry Grant’s 25-yarder sailed just over the bar after the half hour mark as both teams looked for the opening goal. Six minutes before half-time, both Freddie Ladapo and Bromley ‘keeper Seb Brown found themselves yellow carded, following a small bit of handbags over a corner decision. A competitive first-half ended goalless, and thanks to Grays’ ‘keeper, Conor Gough, it stayed that way as the final whistle blew.
Gough’s first save of a magnificent four came in the 57th minute, as the stopper parried Jordan Robertson’s shot – Damian Scannell then failed to convert the rebound. The hosts should have took the lead three minutes later, but as Seb Brown was stranded way outside of his goal, Glowacki’s shot – albeit under pressure from the Bromley defence – sailed way over with the goal at his mercy.
Pierre Joseph-Dubois entered the fray for the visitors on the hour and it was the Frenchman that very nearly made the difference straight away. Dubois’ curler from just inside the box was tipped behind by Gough – and from the resulting corner, the Frenchman’s header was expertly tipped over the bar by the Grays stopper.
Demebi Dumaka had Grays’ best chance of the second half on 70 minutes, but after good work from Joao Carlos, Dumaka couldn’t convert his header, paying the ultimate price seconds after, as he was replaced by hotshot Jamie Guy.
Conor Gough was alert once more on 72 minutes, saving with his feet from a Moses Ademola strike as the game reached a crescendo. Joao Carlos looked to emulate Ryan Giggs’ goal for Manchester United against Arsenal in their 1999 treble-winning season with fifteen minutes to go, as his unchallenged run towards goal allowed the front-man to unleash a shot at Seb Brown – unfortunately for Carlos, his strike found the back garden behind the ground.
In the final moments, Gough blocked another Ademola strike, before the final whistle blew shortly after. Grays Athletic and Bromley will go at it again on Tuesday night at The Fortress Stadium, with the winner being handed a Fourth Qualifying Round tie away at Evesham United.
Bromley made their way through to the Fourth Qualifying Round on Tuesday night, courtesy of a thumping 5-0 win over Grays Athletic at the Fortress Stadium.
Goals from Moses Ademola, Jordan Robertson (pen), Adam Bailey-Dennis (2) and Duncan Culley ensured the Ravens’ safe and simple passage into the next round.
The Conference South outfit will now travel to Evesham United – the only team remaining in the FA Cup from the Southern League Division One South & West – to compete for a place in the First Round Proper.
A full report on Tuesday night’s action can be found here: http://www.bromleyfc.tv/new/index.php/latest-news/28-first-team/168-bromley-grays-athletic
Grays Athletic: Conor Gough, Aaron Best-Riley, Jey Siva, Mark Bentley, Manny Parry, Jay Leader, Jonathan Glowacki (Zerafa, 80), Kenny Beaney (c), Dumebi Dumaka (Guy, 70), Freddie Ladapo, Joao Carlos (Bryan, 89). Subs: Ed Wootten, Joseph Zerafa, Ben Sampayo, Jordan Wilson, Akwasi Marfo, Jamie Guy, Chris Bryan.
Bromley: Seb Brown, Ugo Udozi, Joe Anderson, Ali Fuseini, Danny Waldren (c), Jack Holland, Damian Scannell, Reece Prestedge, Jordan Robertson (Culley, 70), Adam Birchall (Ademola, 62), Harry Grant (Pierre-Dubois, 59). Subs: Adam Bailey-Dennis, Paul Agu, Louis Dennis, Rob Swaine, Duncan Culley, Pierre Joseph-Dubois, Moses Ademola.
Cautions: Grays: Glowacki (26), Ladapo (39). Bromley: Fuseini (12), Brown (39), Prestedge (48).
Find out how Bromley got on in the Fourth Qualifying Round HERE.
Check out the full FA Cup journey here: https://marklitchfieldblog.wordpress.com/fa-cup-20142015/