Ryman Premier Leiston’s FA Trophy hopes dashed by Vanarama South side Bromley

Conor Hubble went close for Leiston

Conor Hubble went close for Leiston

Leiston’s best-ever run in the FA Trophy ended at the First Round Proper stage as Conference South Bromley showed a little too much guile to knock out the Suffolk side.

Richard Wilkins men battled gamely throughout but Bromley, currently sitting second in the Vanarama Conference South, scored a goal late in either half to break the Ryman Premier club’s hearts.

Both sides came into the game in a rich vein of form and it was the visitors who started the better, striking the woodwork inside the opening 10 minutes when Patrick Brothers’ cross-cum-shot hit the inside of Seb Brown’s post, before bouncing to safety.

Ten minutes later, Scott Mitchell’s curling effort from the edge of the box fell into the grateful arms of Brown as the Blues looked confident.

The Kent side took their time but gradually grew into the game and Reece Prestedge volleyed wide from Damian Scannell, before Danny Waldren’s glancing header from Moses Ademola’s cross raced across the face of goal.

Leiston responded when Tom Winter met Blake Saker’s right-wing cross, but his header just cleared the home bar.

Bromley opened the scoring against the run of play on 36 minutes when Waldren skipped across the box and took a shot.

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His effort looked like providing Danny Gay with a comfortable stop but the ‘keeper spilled his effort, and former Chelmsford City striker Jamie Slabber mopped up the loose ball to prod home the opener.

It was hard on Leiston who were certainly well in the tie and posing several problems for their higher-ranked opposition.

Leiston were dealt another blow when Brothers limped off with a hamstring problem to be replaced by Josh Mayhew.

The second half saw Bromley dominate territorially and after Ademola saw an effort strike the base of the post, goalkeeper Gay atoned for his earlier error with telling saves to twice deny Louis Dennis and Damian Scannell.

With Leiston pressing for a leveller, Bromley all but sealed the win as Reece Prestedge’s ball over the top allowed Dennis to spring the visitors’ offside trap with eight minutes remaining and confidently beat the advancing Gay.

There was still time for the visitors to press. First, Stuart Boardley flashed an effort wide at the far post from Saker’s deep cross and then Conor Hubble saw a goal-bound effort blocked by Rob Swaine as the Blues’ quest for FA Trophy glory ended.

Blues boss Wilkins said: “I felt we were a little tentative in our play which is not what we are about, but we never really got at them and had enough belief.

“The game plan worked well and we were more than in the tie but the goal really knocked the stuffing out of us.

“I was expecting us to step up a gear after the goal but we lost control of the ball and Bromley were allowed to control the second half. “

Bromley: Brown, Udoji, Anderson, Prestedge, Swaine (Fuseni 69 mins), Holland, Scannell, Waldren, Slabber (Robertson 63 mins), Ademola (Birchall 63 mins), Dennis. Subs not used: Rodgers, Joseph-Dubois.

Leiston: Gay, Saker, Boardley, Mitchell (Bullard 76 mins), Tann, Jefford, Winter (Parker 76 mins), Heath, Ottley-Gooch, Hubble, Brothers (Mayhew 37 mins). Subs not used: Merritt, Rossis.

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