Bromley FC Season 2012/13
The 20012/13 season was a strange affair for all concerned with Bromley FC, it started with optimism that the squad who finished last season would kick on from surviving relegation and possibly even mount a play off challenge, but while the cup competitions provided a lot of joy the league proved to be almost as difficult as the previous campaign and saw the relationship between manager and supporters turn sour for a while.
After a solid pre-season it appeared that the main problem with the side again would be a lack of goals, Ali Chaaban & Richard Pacquette joined the team to give us more goal scoring options alongside last 2011/12’s player of the season Hakeem Araba and it was hoped that would be the key. Mark Goldberg had originally experimented with bringing back Nic McDonnell and Gareth Williams for their third spells with the club, but neither could rediscover the form of 2006/07 when they both notched over 20 in the promotion season and former top scorer Warren McBean’s return was halted by a torn achilies after just two friendlies.
The season began with a 0-0 at home to
Staines, the lack of goals that blighted the previous campaign still seeming to be a major issue. A 3-0 defeat at Eastbourne the following Tuesday sounded alarm bells among the fans with players fighting each other over taking a penalty which inevitably was missed. Next a 3-2 loss at did see a much improved display with ten men, but the month ended without a win as we drew 1-1 at home to Tonbridge on the Bank Holiday Monday. Chelmsford
The next Saturday saw a 2-0 loss at Farnborough with tempers frayed behind the goal at another season of struggle this time on a much improved budget. Finally the win came with a 4-0 home win over an awful Hornchurch side with the players making a point of celebrating with the manager and blanking the fans. Wins over
Bath & lifted the mood and the league position going into the FA Cup. Truro
A couple of league draws followed before Welling came to
Hayes Lane for Non League Day. 1,334 watched an abject display from The Ravens with The Wings running out comfortable 2-0 winners. October came to an end with us still in the FA Cup and mid-table losing to league leaders 2-1 in injury time before edging Maidenhead 3-2 in front of only 333 at Salisbury Hayes Lane.
Once again The FA Cup provided some relief with the club reaching the First Round Proper again, impressive wins at Sutton & Dover set up a fourth qualifying round tie at home to
. With a tense and close game looking set for a replay Bromley were reduced to ten men when Moses Swaibu was sent off, but remarkably The Ravens not only held on they snatched a win in the last minute thanks to Richard Pacquette converting a Ali Fusieni cross to spark off joyous scenes on the terraces. The first round draw set us up with a trip to the Lancashire coast to face Worcester who had one the Conference Premier the previous season. Just over 350 Bromley fans made the trip, but they were denied any romance by a clinical display from The Cod Army scoring three first half goals to win 3-0 at a canter. League Two Fleetwood Town
The FA Trophy unusually saw us have a good run too, replay wins away from home over Staines & Boreham Wood set up a home tie with Conference Premier promotion hopefuls Kidderminster Harriers. Against the odds Bromley won 1-0 thanks to a Danny Waldren penalty and entered the last sixteen for the first time in the club’s history where they were drawn away to
Dartford. A great travelling support made a fantastic atmosphere and pushed the side on against their Conference premier neighbours, eventually losing 4-2 in a thrilling match.
Amid the FA Cup and The Trophy games we played one league game in November a poor home display losing 1-0 to a rugged Billericay. Striker Joe Piggott joined on loan from Charlton and scored in the 2-1 win at Havant & Waterlooville, but two 3-1 defeats to Welling & Farnborough knocked us back before a spell of bad weather over Christmas saw two games called off. 2012 came to an end with an impressive 3-0 win at Tonbridge in terrible conditions and there was even whispers of the play offs despite the fact a few players were let go or sent out on loan to balance the books.
2013 got off to the worst possible start with a 2-0 home defeat to Sutton in front of a relatively poor crowd of 556. Then came a great run of league results that saw us beat Eastleigh at home 3-1, Dorchester 4-0 away and
2-0 away. Forwards Louie Theophanous and Elliott Buchanan looking like great signings, but after another interruption for snow we lost 1-0 at home to Weston Super Mare and entered another slump. Great efforts hade been made my the club and fans to get the Weston game on, with the pitch cleared and two sides of the ground opened, but the performance at home was once again lacking. Bath
February saw Bromley go five games with out a win before ending the month with a vital six points beating Billericay 3-2 away with a last minute Danny Waldren penalty and on the Tuesday a surprisingly poor
2-0 at home. Chelmsford
Our Kent Senior Cup campaign fell victim to the perceived chance of making the play offs with MG fielding a squad side that was destroyed in extra time at Tonbridge 6-1 after we had beaten Gillingham Reserves in the previous round. It was the London Senior Cup that would provide a vital source of positivity during the final six weeks of the season. A squad side provided home wins over Harrow & Tooting which then saw us travel to another Ryman League side Wingate & Finchley in the semi’s. This time a near full strength team drew 1-1 after extra time with the Premier Division strugglers, but edged the penalty shootout 4-3 to book a place in the final against Kingstonian.
Going into mid-March we still had a realistic chance of making the play offs, but the day before the transfer deadline Ali Fuseini was allowed to join Sutton amid rumours of budget cuts and from that point the team never recovered. A run of eight consecutive league defeats followed, the side were hampered by injuries to key players and a lack of depth in the squad only bolstered by Academy players thrown into a difficult situation. The Easter Monday defeat at second bottom Hornchurch saw tempers boil over. We lost to a poor side who were reduced to ten men before half time and we played with one up front with no urgency at all. The Urchins then nicked the game in the final minute pulling us down into the relegation mire once more. As the manager left the field he was told in no uncertain terms what one supporter in particular felt and as a result MG went to the paper again to criticise the fans and threaten to resign for the third time in the summer. The run of loses eventually ended in the penultimate league game with a win at Boreham Wood, fortunately Billericay & Hornchurch’s inability to win at all meant we were safe before the Conference South campaign ended with a 4-0 home defeat to play off contenders Dover. During the final game a group of fans unfurled a ‘Mark Goldberg Bromley Legend’ banner and following the match at the Player of the Season awards MG made a move to rebuild bridges with supporters during his speech and also in the press.
Fortunately there was still the London Senior Cup Final to lift the spirits and end the season on a positive note. Kingstonian came into the game at Imber Court on an equally poor run of form, but regardless of this both teams provided a good match to watch with Bromley edging it thanks to two first half goals from Elliott Buchanan & Aaron Rhule and despite being reduced to ten men on the hour when Helge Orome saw red. K’s did grab a goal dead on the final whistle, but The Ravens lifted the cup with Mark Goldberg dedicating the win to the fans.
The season came to an end with Bromley 14th, having reached the first round of the FA Cup, last sixteen of the FA Trophy and won the London Senior Cup. A decent return on paper, but for many it still felt like an under achievement given the increased budget and the flirtations with relegation after Christmas. We go into the summer with a great deal of uncertainty over the future of the club and management, MG had said he will make a decision in June depending of if a take over goes through. Whatever happens hopefully the relationship between club and fans will continue in the good vein they ended the season and the disputes can be put behind us all so we can face the new challenges united.
Players In During the Season:
Richard Paquette Aug
Ian Daly Sept
Elliott Buchanan Oct
Louie Theophanous Oct
Joe Piggott (loan) Nov
Rob Gillman Nov
Harry Harding Nov
Helge Orome Dec
Solomon Taiwo Dec
Ishmael Welsh Jan
Max Noble Feb
Hakeem Araba Sept
George Howard (loan) Nov
Richard Pacquette Dec
Rob Gillman Dec
Harry Harding Dec
Jerrome Sobers Dec
Ian Daly (loan Dec)
Joe Piggott (loan ended) Jan
Michael Malcolm Jan
Ali Chaaban Jan
Solomon Taiwo Feb
Ali Fuseini March