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PREVIEW | Wrexham v Bromley - Buildbase FA Trophy Final

The Red Dragons are marching to the arch ahain

20 May 2022

Match Previews

PREVIEW | Wrexham v Bromley - Buildbase FA Trophy Final

The Red Dragons are marching to the arch ahain

20 May 2022

Ten months of hard work boils down to this: a tremendous end-of-season crescendo which sees us tilt for  promotion and a cup victory.

First, of course, is the fourth visit in Wrexham's history to Wembley Stadium. It's a venue we've become familiar with, as all those games came in the last nine years, and each one was laced with late drama.

Both our FA Trophy finals were decided by a penalty shoot-out; our opponents, Bromley, have been to the FA Trophy final once before, in 2018. They lost on penalties. I think I can see a pattern forming.

Bromley played at the old Wembley too. In 1949, Bromley won the FA Amateur Cup in front of over 93,000 fans, and a superb feature on their club website chronicles the day, with an excellent gallery of archive images

Bromley have endured a strange year. In the FA Trophy their results have been superb, but a strong push for promotion has tailed off since January.

The Ravens rounded off January by beating Notts County, leaving them in fourth place in the table after winning all five games that month.

Since then, however, things have gone less well. Their next league win would be in April as the promotion push fell apart: they won just 17 of the remaining 57 remaining points, losing eight times and winning just three.

However, their FA Trophy run has kept them going and, since reaching the final, they've found a certain equilibrium: counting that 3-1 win over York City, they've won four, drawn four and lost four since then.

Despite slipping off the play-off pace, Bromley finished just six points short of seventh-placed Chesterfield, and manager Andy Woodman's reputation in the game continues to grow. It was something of a surprise when legendary manager Neil Smith was removed last season with The Ravens in the fight for a play-off berth, but Woodman steered them into the post-season with a last day win over Notts County, and they put up a good fight before eventually losing 3-2 at Hartlepool, who went to to clinch promotion.

This season has again been able to deliver a memorable campaign for a well-run club which has been scaling itself up both on and off the pitch since being promoted to the fifth tier for the first time in 2015.

Woodman's success led to interest from Gillingham earlier this season, and he has refused to be drawn on speculation that AFC Wimbledon or Crawley Town might swoop for him once the final is out of the way. The Wimbledon post has now been filled, but Woodman is clearly on the radar of Football League clubs after his stirling work at Hayes Lane.

The Last Time We Met

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Wrexham's Record Against Bromley

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Wrexham versus Bromley is a fixture which has been dominated by the home sides, so a first neutral clash is a step into the unknown. Each side has played host seven times in this fixture, with Wrexham winning six and drawing one at The Racecourse, but mustering just one win and three draws at Hayes Lane.

Our first game there, on the first day of the 2015-16 season, was also Bromley’s first in the fifth tier and Gary Mills’ first in the Wrexham hots eat. We took an early lead through a debut goal by Wes York, but caved in after the break to lose 3-1.

Bromley’s first trip to The Racecourse came in February 2016, and Lee Fowler stood out in a 2-0 Wrexham win. Fowler scored the opener and Connor Jennings hit the second from the spot.

Our two most recent games at Bromley were dominated by an unpleasant coincidence, as Rob Lainton picked up a serious injury in both games. Last season an accidental clash with James Alabi led to a worrying head injury which he was thankfully able to recover from. Christian Dibble stepped in and performed heroics as a shell-shocked Wrexham emerged with a 1-1 draw.


This season Lainton suffered a season-ending injury when a collision with Ali Al-Hamadi led to him breaking his wrist. Once more Dibble stepped in, this time keeping a clean sheet in a 0-0 draw.


Wrexham’s sole win at Bromley was a 2-0 triumph in which saw both Davis Keillor-Dunn and Jordan Ponticelli score superb goals.
 

Our best result against Bromley came last season. Jordan Davies opened the scoring before two fine goals by Dior Angus secured a 3-0 win.

Ntumba Massanka is our top scorer aganst Bromley, and there’s quite a story behind that stat!



He scored two second half goals off the bench in a bizarre 4-3 defeat at Hayes Lane in April 2017, and then scored two more to clinch a 2-0 win five months later before being withdrawn. That meant he’d scored four goals against The Ravens in 106 minutes, a strike rate of a goal every 26.5 minutes. Quite what it was about Bromley that he liked, nobody knows, but he certainly had a real liking for them as in the rest of his Wrexham career he scored a rather less striking two goals in 2,059 minutes!

Wrexham's Road to Wembley


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Bromley's Road to Wembley


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