Eastbourne Borough 2-1 Bromley

BROMLEY bowed out of the FA Cup fourth qualifying round at Eastbourne Borough last Saturday when they lost to an 86th-minute penalty on their first visit to the Sussex Club.

Borough, having ended Bromley's unbeaten home record just three weeks earlier at Hayes Lane, had to work very hard for this victory, particularly in the second half, when Bromley were down to 10 men.

The home side started brightly and Bromley's goalkeeper, Andy Walker, did well in the fourth minute, when he dived smartly to prevent a cross from the left entering the net after Scott Ramsay had dummied the ball in front of Walker.

Bromley's first attack came on 15 minutes, when a quick break involving Barry Moore, Peter Adeniyi and Danny Hockton ended with Hockton unable to control the final ball, which he fired wide.

Walker was in action again two minutes later as he clawed the ball away from underneath the crossbar from Ramsey's looped header following another attack down the left.

The hosts opened the scoring on 25 minutes.

Slack marking in the build-up allowed Paul Armstrong to cross from the right and a completely unmarked Andy Atkin stooped low to head past Walker at the near post.

Bromley might have equalised on 28 minutes, when a long free-kick into the area was back headed by Eastbourne's Ben Austin, which forced his own goalkeeper Lee Hook to tip around the post.

And 10 minutes later, Adeniyi snatched his shot wide from close in following Hockton's headed cross from Simon Osborne's long pass forward.

Walker, who was the busier of the two goalkeepers in the first half, was quickly out to concede a corner after a deep cross had fallen to Jay Lovett.

He then denied Ramsay as the half closed, when a Steve Clark clearance went straight to the centre forward.

Gareth McCleary replaced Hockton at half-time, but Borough maintained the early pressure with Atkins and Ramsay going close before Hook made an instinctive save on 51 minutes to deny Nic McDonnell.

The rebound fell to McCleary, who saw his shot beat Hook only to be cleared off the line by Darren Baker.

Bromley's equalising goal came on 56 minutes. A good ball over the top by Sam Wood saw McCleary outpace his marker before shooting from 20 yards.

The goalkeeper got his hands to the shot, but the pace carried it over the line.

One minute later, a poor refereeing decision, one of many against both sides during the afternoon, saw Bromley reduced to 10 men.

Mark Corneille, who had been booked for a late tackle four minutes earlier, was fouled but recovered to win possession.

However, the referee blew for a foul and Corneille kicked the ball away no more than four yards.

Eastbourne's Neil Jenkins ran 12 yards towards the referee to point out he had just booked Corneille and the official produced another yellow card, followed by a red.

After this incident, Bromley proceeded to produce some excellent possession football which Eastbourne struggled to break down.

Hook just beat McDonnell to the ball on 65 minutes after Osborn's long high pass had split the home defence.

Eastbourne made a double substitution on 71 minutes to try and regain the advantage.

The move certainly had an impact, as Walker was quickly out to dive at substitute Nathan Crabb's feet on 79 minutes, and again to block Darren Bubb's effort two minutes later.

Bromley looked to have held on for a replay before another atrocious decision came on 85 minutes.

Eastbourne won a corner on the right and when the flag kick came over, Bobby Bowry and Darren Baker both attempted to get the ball and the pair fell to the ground.

To everyone's amazement, the match official pointed to the spot and after many protests, Paul Armstrong slammed the spot kick home to give the home side a victory which had not looked likely for most of the second half.

Bromley: Walker, Corneille, Wood, Bowry, Clarke, Henriques, Adeniyi, Moore, Hockton (McCleary ht), McDonnell, Osborn (Williams 87). Subs not used: Judge, Glover, Duku. Att: 1,212