Bristol Rovers vs Bromley preview
Bristol Rovers vs Bromley preview

Bromley take their focus away from the National League campaign at the weekend and direct their attentions to the ‘magic of the cup’ when they travel to League One Bristol Rovers for a FA Cup First Round tie at Sunday lunchtime.

Neil Smith’s side head west having lost 1-0 at Wrexham last Saturday, but they remain top of the table with an impressive haul of 36 points from 19 games.

Rovers currently sit ninth in League One with 25 points from 17 games played, last weekend Graham Coughlan’s side won 2-1 away at Rochdale thanks to two early goals from Victor Adeboyejo and an own goal.

Bromley’s record in the FA Cup First Round hasn’t been great in recent history, comprehensive defeats by Peterborough, Rochdale, Fleetwood, Orient, Colchester & Gillingham leaving scars on Bromley fans’ souls, let alone the 4-3 defeat to Dartford.

The last time they reached the second round was in 1946 when they lost to Watford. Having only come into the competition in the last round the Ravens booked their place at this stage courtesy of a 4-3 home win over Aldershot Town in October. 

The Pirates have been on the end of cup exits to non-league opposition in recent seasons, losing to Barrow, Barnet and Chesham Utd, since their return to the Football League after a season in the National League, so there may be some nerves among the home support ahead of this one. 

Smith believed his side created enough chances to have taken something from the Wrexham game and will be looking for his side to make their opportunities in front of goal count if they arise on Sunday.

Billy Bingham returned to action last weekend, but Marc-Anthony Okoye & Jordan Higgs were still injured along with long term casualties Mark Cousins & Jake Goodman.

Korey Henry went out on loan to Welling Utd leaving the manager with only two recognised strikers in the squad.

On loan midfielder Michael Klass was not permitted to play in the last round by his parent club Southend Utd.  

Bromley were given an allocation of 900 seats in the South Stand at The Memorial Ground and travelling numbers have been boosted by the club running six free coaches for supporters, funded by Chairman Robin Stanton-Gleaves and the reasonable ticket price of £15.

By Tuesday afternoon the club had sold over 400. The match being moved to 12.45pm on a Sunday due to television highlights coverage means an early start for The Ravens supporters, but they will be travelling in the hope that their team can finally give a good account of themselves in the FA Cup against league opposition.     

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