FA Trophy Final
Brackley 1-1 Bromley (5-4 pens)
Talk about a dramatic finale. On the verge of FA Trophy Final heartbreak, trailing by one goal to nil in the dying seconds of the game, Brackley Town skipper Gareth Dean found himself in the right place at the right time to tap in an equaliser after Matt Lowe’s shot came back off the post to force the final into extra time.
Cue mass celebrations in front of their fans, and cue a dejected Bromley side who thought they had held out.
Extra-time was pretty much eventless, as they tend to be, so it was onto the lottery of the penalty shoot-out, and they were to be taken in front of the Brackley supporters, whom I sat amongst.
I believe it was 4-3, and Omar Bugiel, who had given Bromley the lead in normal time, had the chance to win it for Bromley. Instead, the pressure got the better of him and he ballooned the ball over the bar. It was literally one of the worst penelties I’ve ever seen.
Cue Brackley. They were back in the game. And after another miss by Ravens skipper Jack Holland, who hit the post, it was up to Brackley’s Andy Brown to win it. Up he stepped and calmly slotted the ball home, to wild celebrations from the 6,000-or-so travelling Saints fans.
Bromley, playing in front of a sea of white, as a rumoured 22,000 of their supporters had swelled the attendance, had been in front within 20 minutes of the tie after that Omar Bugiel goal.
Chasing the game, Brackley piled on the pressure in the second half, leaving gaps for Bromleys’s nippiest to run into. But they spurned a couple of chances which would surely have been enough to win it. Having missed them, Brackley once again piled forward. Numerous crosses, shots and set-pieces peppered the Bromley box. There were scrambles, scrapes and escapes for Bromley but alas, there was Dean; Johnny on the Spot, to tap home when even the most hopeful of Brackley fans were beginning to lose faith.
So it’s the team from Nothamptonshire who take the trophy. Credit must go to both sets of supporters who were a credit to non-league football, mingling before and after the game without incident.
For me, this will be my last blog. I’m hoping to carry on my FA Cup Quest next season if the rounds fall on weekends on which I’m free. But I will no longer be writing a blog to essentially no one. Is anyone actually reading this? Am I tryping to no one? Probably yes, so no more blogs. If you are reading this, follow my Twitter account @FACupGuy. I will continue to post regularly on that when I go to games but as for blogs, they can blog off. Thanks to all those who did drop by. Adios.
Images from Wembley