Bromley v Aldershot Town Match Preview – Saturday 6th April 2019
Following last weekend’s goalless draw with AFC Fylde at The EBB Stadium, Aldershot Town travel to Hayes Lane on Saturday to take on Bromley. The Ravens took the scalp of National League leaders Leyton Orient on Tuesday and are currently 12th. Anything less than a win for The Shots could see them relegated to the National League South this weekend. BBC Surrey’s Rob Worrall previews the game:
Manager Gary Waddock has a pretty full match day squad to choose from. Even long term absentee Lewis Kinsella is now back in full training, as are the likes of Shamir Fenelon, James Rowe and Nick Arnold. George Fowler’s recovery is taking longer and he is unlikely to be involved in the match day squad again this season and is the only injury worry along with Jake Cole who has a hamstring injury but could return to the squad as early as next week.
Name: Bromley FC
Nickname: The Ravens
Manager: Neil Smith
Stadium: Hayes Lane
2017/18 National League South position: 10th
Bromley Football Club was founded in 1892, switching between the Kent, London, Spartan, Athenian and Isthmian League before settling in the latter in 1952. They’ve won three FA Amateur Cups and were Isthmian League winners on four occasions, whilst their promotion via the Play-Offs in 2007 started a run of eight seasons in Conference South. On six consecutive occasions, they ended the season between 11th and 17th before a third-place finish in 2013-14 (losing to Ebbsfleet United in the Play-Off semi-final) and the National League South title twelve months later. The Ravens finished 14th with sixty points in their first campaign at a national level, one place and four points above Aldershot Town and last season, they improved further to finish 10th.
Former professional footballer Neil Smith played more than 350 games in the English Football League, for Gillingham, Fulham and Reading. He then switched to non-league football, making 142 appearances for Woking, in addition to brief spells at Welling, Bromley and Maidstone.
He was appointed joint Interim Manager of Woking in March 2007 and helped steer the Surrey side to safety, only for Frank Gray to ultimately get the permanent role. Smith then took the reins of Welling United for just six months, before being sacked in January 2008 and returning, briefly, as a player to Bromley. After coaching spells at Grays Athletic, Croydon and Lewes, he took the job as Assistant Manager at Bromley. In February 2016, following the departure of manager Mark Goldberg, Smith took over as interim Manager and after a successful run of results, was given the job on a permanent basis. In the 2014-15 season, Smith led Bromley to the Conference South title and promotion to the National League. In both of their first two seasons in Non-League’s top flight, they have finished in the top half and Smith also took them to Wembley last term, in the FA Trophy Final.
Nine players departed last summer, including top scorer Josh Rees (Gillingham), Luke Wanadio (Shots) and Louis Dennis (Portsmouth). Those three players alone scored more than 40 of Bromley’s goals last season. Nine players stayed, including a couple of ex-Shots Adam Mekki and Jake Goodman, both of whom are now out for the rest of the season with injury. Twelve newcomers arrived at Hayes Lane, including; Crawley midfielder Frankie Sutherland – Bromley’s (nine goals), former Shots winger Bobby-Joe Taylor (now at Dover) and former Braintree skipper Marc Anthony Okoye. Smith has continued to tweak his playing squad throughout the season and the signing that has made the biggest impact is JJ Hooper, who initially singed a short-term loan deal, now extended to the end of the season. Hooper has been prolific for The Ravens, bagging a dozen goals to date!
Saturday’s referee is Lloyd Wood who has taken the middle on 16 occasions, showing 35 Yellow cards and 3 Red cards. He did not referee Shots last season. He has refereed Bromley twice this season and also took charge of Aldershot Town’s recent 0-2 home defeat to Gateshead.
BBC Surrey Sport’s Rob Worrall and former Shots midfielder Damon Lathrope will be covering the game live on Saturday afternoon. Tune in to the BBC Sport website (or the BBC Sport App) from 2:50pm for full match commentary. To interact, tweet @RobShot6