The FA Cup - First Round
Bristol RoversBristol Rovers1BromleyBromley1

Bristol Rovers 1-1 Bromley: Chris Bush's late leveller earns National League leaders replay

Chris Bush hooked home a late equaliser to earn 10-man National League leaders Bromley a replay against Bristol Rovers.

Bromley - who were forced to play the final 20 minutes a man short due to Adrian Clifton's injury, having already used all three substitutes - fell behind to Luke Leahy's tap-in 12 minutes from time.

However, Bush hooked home from close range five minutes later after Rovers keeper Anssi Jaakola spilled a corner to earn the visitors a deserved second bite at the cherry.

They held Rovers at bay for much of the game, restricting the League One side - who had lost their past three FA Cup ties against non-league opposition - to just two shots on target.

One of those came from substitute Leahy's first touch, moments after coming off the bench, as he pounced to put Rovers ahead from close range when Ryan Huddart could only parry Liam Sercombe's effort.

The goal was harsh on Bromley, who had created the best chance of a cagey encounter when Adam Mekki fired Reeco Hackett-Fairchild's through ball over the bar with only Jaakola to beat.

But despite going down to 10 men when Clifton joined Luke Coulson and Rarmani Edmonds-Green in limping off, Bromley claimed a replay thanks to the Finnish stopper's late error.

Rovers made the quarter-finals of the Cup in 2008 but have lost in round one in eight of the 11 seasons since and suffered defeats to non-league trio Barnet, Barrow and Chesham in that time.

Bromley, meanwhile, have lost on the past 13 occasions they have reached the first-round proper but the replay gives them the chance to make round two for the first time since 1945-46.

Bristol Rovers boss Graham Coughlan:

"We didn't turn up today and didn't deserve to win. When you don't get going from the start it is always going to be difficult.

"They are a strong team and we had no tempo or purpose to our play. But when we take the lead that late in the match I expect us to see games out.

"It was a soft goal to concede because we knew how good Bromley are from set-pieces and should have been prepared.

"I accept the frustration of our fans because I wouldn't have wanted to pay to see that. But I don't anticipate us playing like that in the replay because the season has been mainly positive for us so far."

Bromley manager Neil Smith:

"We will fill our stadium for the replay and the lads deserve nothing less because they gave everything for me today.

"I didn't think we deserved to fall behind and it would have been easy for heads to drop after their goal, particularly as we were down to 10 men.

"Adrian Clifton twisted a knee after we had used all three subs because of other injuries. He could be out for a while and the knocks are a downside of an otherwise great afternoon for us.

"Our chairman offered to pay for the travel of our fans, which was fantastic. I'm so pleased that the gesture was taken up by so many and that everyone has had such an enjoyable day out."


Bristol Rovers

Formation 4-4-2

  • 32Jaakkola
  • 2Little
  • 5Craig
  • 15KilgourBooked at 67mins
  • 18Kelly
  • 33RodmanSubstituted forLeahyat 77'minutes
  • 6Upson
  • 4Ogogo
  • 7Sercombe
  • 29AdeboyejoSubstituted forNicholsat 56'minutes
  • 17SmithSubstituted forClarke-Harrisat 56'minutes


  • 1van Stappershoef
  • 8O Clarke
  • 9Clarke-Harris
  • 10Nichols
  • 11Leahy
  • 23Bennett
  • 24Menayese


Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 23Huddart
  • 2KizziBooked at 62mins
  • 6Holland
  • 13Bush
  • 26Edmonds-GreenSubstituted forWoodat 60'minutes
  • 10Bingham
  • 8Raymond
  • 7CoulsonSubstituted forReesat 44'minutes
  • 11MekkiSubstituted forCliftonat 61'minutesSubstituted forat 82'minutes
  • 19Hackett-Fairchild
  • 9Cheek


  • 3Wood
  • 12Dunne
  • 14Tanner
  • 15Klass
  • 17Clifton
  • 25Rees
  • 28Najia
Daniel Middleton

Match Stats

Home TeamBristol RoversAway TeamBromley
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Bristol Rovers 1, Bromley 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Bristol Rovers 1, Bromley 1.

  3. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Jonson Clarke-Harris (Bristol Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  4. Post update

    Jonson Clarke-Harris (Bristol Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Joe Kizzi (Bromley).

  6. Post update

    Hand ball by Luke Leahy (Bristol Rovers).

  7. Post update

    Foul by Mark Little (Bristol Rovers).

  8. Post update

    Reeco Hackett-Fairchild (Bromley) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Josh Rees (Bromley) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left following a corner.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Bromley. Conceded by Alfie Kilgour.

  11. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Reeco Hackett-Fairchild (Bromley) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  12. Post update

    Anssi Jaakkola (Bristol Rovers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Joe Kizzi (Bromley).

  14. Post update

    Foul by Mark Little (Bristol Rovers).

  15. Post update

    Reeco Hackett-Fairchild (Bromley) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  16. Goal!

    Goal! Bristol Rovers 1, Bromley 1. Chris Bush (Bromley) left footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal following a corner.

  17. Post update

    Adrian Clifton went off injured after Bromley had used all subs.

  18. Post update

    Corner, Bromley. Conceded by Alfie Kilgour.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Ed Upson (Bristol Rovers).

  20. Post update

    Frankie Raymond (Bromley) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

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