Bromley

Hayes Lane

Capacity: 5,000 (Seats 1,456)
Address: Hayes Lane, Bromley, Kent, BR2 9EF
Telephone: 020 8460 5291
Pitch Type: Artificial 3G
Club Nickname: The Lillywhites or Ravens
Year Ground Opened: 1938
Home Kit: White and Black

John Fiorini Main Stand
John Fiorini Main Stand
Cricket Club Side Terrace
Cricket Club Side Terrace
North Terrace
North Terrace

Hayes Lane is currently only three sided at the moment, as one end the Norman Park End has been demolished in preparation for the building of a new 1,450 seat stand (see Future Stadium Developments below). 

On the west side is the modern looking John Fiorini (Main) Stand. This covered all seated stand doesn’t have any supporting pillars and sits astride the half way line. Opened in 1993, it has a capacity of 285 seats (believed to have come from Wimbledon’s Plough Lane). Opposite this is a reasonable sized open terrace that has two rows of some classic looking crush barriers from end to end, with a newish black wooden fence at the back. Both the north terrace and this stand have fences that can be used when segregation of spectators is in force. Behind the east side terrace is a cricket pitch. I hope that the batsmen can’t hit a ‘six’ that far! The trainers benches are situated on that side, but the dressing rooms are behind the Main Stand. The North Terrace at one end has an interesting look as it is partly covered to the rear. The roof though does have a disproportionate amount of supporting pillars running across the front of it. During 2017 the Club installed an artificial 3G playing surface at Hayes Lane.

The ground is shared with Cray Wanderers, who, having been formed in 1860, are the oldest association football club in London, and the joint second oldest in the world! Crystal Palace Ladies also play their home games at Hayes Lane.

The Club have announced that they are to redevelop the Norman Park (South) End of Hayes Lane. This will involve the construction of a large multi-purpose office type building, which will also have 1,450 seats installed out front. It is hoped that construction will commence in 2018. An artist's impression of the new stand and building can be viewed on the Bromley FC website.

For most matches at Hayes Lane fans are not segregated. However for bigger games where segregation is put in place then away fans are housed on part (or sometimes all) of the Cricket Club Side Terrace. Visiting supporters on these occasions use turnstiles located on the far side of the North Terrace. Although this Side Terrace is of a reasonable height being 12 steps high, it does have a row of floodlight pylons running across the front of it, which could hinder your view. The terrace is also open to the elements so hope it doesn't rain. Most fans enjoy their visits to Bromley as it is a proper old-fashioned ground with plenty of character.

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There is a quite a spacious and comfortable Social Club at the stadium, called Ravens Bar. It boasts a number of screens showing televised BT and Sky Sport and serves real ale, normally provided by a micro brewery. The Bar also serves fresh Pizzas and Cornish Pasties are available. Visiting fans are welcome to use Ravens Bar unless segregation is in force for that particular match. On those occasions away fans have a temporary bar facility set-up inside the ground near to the turnstiles. 

Around a 15 minute walk away on Masons Hill is a pub called the Bricklayers Arms. This traditional pub normally has a good mix of home and way supporters. It offers real ales, food and also has televised live sports.

If arriving by train at South Bromley then near to the station is another Wetherspoons called the Richmal Crompton

Leave the M25 at Junction 4 and take the A21 towards Bromley and London. After five miles for left at the traffic lights onto the A232 towards Croydon/Sutton. At the 2nd set of traffic lights turn right into Baston Road (B265). Continue straight on this road through Hayes. The road becomes Hayes Lane and after the mini roundabout the entrance to the ground is down on the right. There is a small car park at the ground which costs £2, otherwise street parking.

Bromley South Railway Station is located around a mile away from the ground. It is served by trains from London Victoria. It is around a 15-20 minute walk. 

On exiting the main entrance, turn left and walk down the High Street. On reaching a set of traffic lights, turn right into Westmoreland Road. Just after passing a church on the left, turn left into Hayes Road. Follow Hayes Road until your each its end (about half a mile) where you will reach a junction that has a mini roundabout. Turn right here into Hayes Lane. The entrance to the ground is a little further up Hayes Lane on the left.

Paul Willott informs me; 'You can get the number 119 bus (towards Croydon) from Bromley South Station that goes right past the ground. It runs every 10 minutes or so'.

Booking train tickets in advance will normally save you money! Find train times, prices and book tickets with Trainline. Visit the website below to see how much you can save on the price of your tickets:

In Advance Of Matchday:

Adults £15
Over 65's £10
Concessions £10
Students (aged Under 22) £5
Under 16's Free when accompanied by a full paying Adult, otherwise £5

On Matchday

Adults £18
Over 65's £12 
Concessions £10 
Students (aged Under 22) £5 
Under 16's Free when accompanied by a full paying Adult, otherwise £5

Concessions apply to members of the Armed Forces and Emergency Services (ID required) and current Premier and Football League season ticket holders.

Official Programme £2.50

Sutton United, Welling United and Dartford.

Bromley FC Fixtures (takes you to the BBC Sports Website).

Record Attendance

10,798 v Nigeria, September 1949

Average Attendance
2017-2018: 1,445 (National League)
2016-2017: 1,113 (National League)
2015-2016: 1,398 (National League)

If you require hotel accommodation in Bromley or Central London then first try a hotel booking service provided by Booking.com. They offer all types of accommodation to suit all tastes and pockets from; Budget Hotels, Traditional Bed & Breakfast establishments to Five Star Hotels and Serviced Apartments. Plus their booking system is straightforward and easy to use. Yes this site will earn a small commission if you book through them, but it will help towards the running costs of keeping this Guide going. 

Access their Bromley and London Hotels pages.

Remember that you can use the above link to book any other hotels that you may need for business or leisure, at home or abroad.

Booking.com

If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me at: duncan@footballgrounds.net and I'll update the guide.

Special thanks to Myles Munsey for providing the photo of the Norman Park End and to Phil Bennett for the photos of the John Fiorini Main Stand and Cricket Club Side Terrace.

Crystal Palace Ladies v Tottenham Hotspur Ladies
Womens Premier League
Saturday 18th August 2018, 7.45pm
Jim Burgin (Neutral)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Hayes Lane Ground?
 
My third visit to Hayes Lane, once for Bromley and once for Cray Wanderers and now for the Palace ladies, My first women's match at the second tier and I was interested in seeing the standard of the game at the level.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
After having been to see a non-league game at AC London FC at 3pm, it was straightforward to travel on the trains/tram from Whyteleafe to East Croydon and onto Bromley South. The ground is easy to find, left out of the station, bear right around the side of a Church and left into Hayes Road, Right at the Junction into Hayes Lane and the ground is down a track on the left. A 20 minute walk altogether in through residential streets. There is a car park at front of the Main Stand for these who prefer the creature comforts of life.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
Chips and Coffee was partaken at the club food hatch, Bromley had played in the afternoon and it seemed all the club staff had continued on into the evening, although it did seem that none of the fans had bothered to do so, the 100 or so crowd were almost exclusively Palace or Spurs fans, several wearing replica kits. A large proportion of ladies in the audience. Everyone was friendly.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Hayes Lane Ground?
 
One major change since my last visit is that the Norman End Stand has gone, this is the stand with terracing and wooden stools behind the goal, to the right of the Main Stand (as you sit in it). There is just a 6 feet gap between the goal and high hoarding boards. Otherwise, the ground is as reported previously. A nice ground at this level, but think Bromley would struggle, ground wise if promoted to the Football League.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
The game was highly entertaining, and these two sides played at a fair and fast pace. 1-1 was the final score, which was deserved on the night, and I was impressed not only by the skills the ladies showed but also about the confidence to play with the ball and the fitness levels. All the staff and facilities were good and everyone behaved. The atmosphere was good too with both teams having vocal support. Palace being at home had some flags showing in the terracing behind the goal. The guy in the food shack was very friendly and helpful, the chips were fine, the coffee wet and hot.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
I left on the final whistle and was back at London Victoria by 10:30, no problems at all.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
My evening at Bromley to watch Crystal Palace Ladies was a lovely experience, only a Fiver to get in, Bit lacking in the programme department but it was their first game at this level and will no doubt get better. Staff fine, game fine, and players conducted themselves pretty well. I will definitely be going to other ladies games.

Bromley v Gateshead
FA Trophy Semi Final, 1st Leg
Saturday 17th March 2018, 3pm
Lewis (Gateshead fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the H2T Group Stadium?
 
This was my first ever Gateshead away match as I usually follow Newcastle home and away, which leads to not being able to get to any Gateshead away matches. I've been to all top six of the Premier League teams stadiums and have never been to any ground lower than League Two. This match was an important part of both Gateshead and Bromley history especially since the team who wins goes to play at Wembley in the final.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
A very early start and a long journey down on the coach on a very cold day.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
On arrival I went into the impressive club house at the ground itself. It is a really good place for supporters and the staff were friendly towards the away fans. The majority of the Bromley fans I came across on the day were very passionate about Bromley but didn't let this get in the way to help the Gateshead fans.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the H2T Group Stadium?
 
I'm a massive fan of old school grounds and Bromley's ground had excellent features. I've visited many big stadiums but I always love the structure of these so called small club stadiums.An 80's ground would be my first impression of seeing Hayes Lane. It took me right back to when I first got into football.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
Advantage Bromley in the tie as they put in a good second half performance. Gateshead started really well and were ahead within a minute, Richard Peniket’s shot ricocheted off teammate Danny Johnson and into the net, it looked as though Gateshead would run away with the match. On 14 minutes Bromley were controversially awarded a penalty, Brandon Hanlan went over the challenge of Neill Byrne though the Gateshead skipper clearly won the ball and the linesman wanted to give the corner but the referee overruled him, Hanlan stepped up and put the penalty beyond the reach of James Montgomery. The Heed responded well and took the lead again 5 minutes before the break, Danny Johnson rounding the keeper.
 
Unfortunately, Bromley looked much more commanding in the second half and Louis Dennis pulled them level 6 minutes after the restart, a brilliant curling effort. Gateshead tried to get back into the match but it can only take the consolation that the tie is there for getting back into hopefully the home crowd as expecting well over 2,000 can create an excellent atmosphere and help push the lads forward Admission: £5 Programme: £2.50 Toilets: what you would expect from a non league side.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
Took a short while we had to check that everyone was back on the coach before the long journey back to Gateshead commenced.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
Really good enjoyed it even though very long journey.

Bromley v FC Halifax Town
National League
Saturday 27th January 2018, 3pm
Mike Finister-Smith (FC Halifax Town fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Hayes Lane Ground?
 
Another new ground and a trip out as my wife was studying and trying to get me out of the house.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
Not too bad. A train to London Euston, a tube Victoria and then train to Bromley South. Followed by a 15 minute walk to the Hayes Lane Ground.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
There is a Wetherspoons pub opposite Bromley South Railway Station, but I chose instead to head for the Bricklayers Arms, which I had researched beforehand and was on the way to the ground. Turn left out of the station and follow the road round to the right. The pub had a mixture of fans and was really friendly with live sport, and good beer. Highly recommended.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Hayes Lane Ground?
 
Hayes Lane was fine and had a friendly welcome. There was no segregation in spite of 1500 crowd. I had an acceptable Cornish pasty and a coffee and a good view of pitch.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
The game was not good for me as Halifax were very poor and Bromley were good. The quality was not helped by a swirling wind but we got away with a 3-0 loss but should have been more.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
Straightforward walk back to station and was back to my home in the Midlands before 7.30pm.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
Everything was enjoyable apart from the match!

Bromley v Maidenhead United
National League
Tuesday 24th October 2017, 7.45pm
David Osborne (Maidenhead United fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Hayes Lane Ground?
 
With Maidenhead United having been promoted to National League, Hayes Lane was another new ground for me to visit and not too far a journey.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
The usual slow traffic on the M25 but the satnav got us to ground easily. We parked at the ground itself, very close to the turnstiles for £2.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
Grabbed a meal deal with an excellent Cornish Pasty. Had a good chat with one of the home fans who greeted us with 'thanks for coming'.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Hayes Lane Ground?
 
The home and away fans swapped ends at half time, although in both cases the 'away' ends were shared with Bromley fans. Maidenheads club photographer complained that the floodlights didn't give enough light.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
It was a cracking game with five goals in the first half. Maidenhead held on in the second half to win 3-2. The clubhouse was excellent with a bank of televisions showing other football matches/results and a big screen showing the game itself.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
Bit of a queue to get out of the car park but still got home in 90 minutes.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
I would recommend visiting the Hayes Lane ground, as well as the food and the clubhouse. It was topped off by Maidenhead winning 3-2 away despite being 10 places below Bromley in the League.

Bromley vs Solihull Moors
National League
Saturday 16th September 2017, 3pm
Paul Dickinson (Neutral fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Hayes Lane Ground?

I only have seven National League grounds left to complete the current set and with the exception of Solihull Moors, they're all in Southern England and a long way from my Leeds home. Today allowed me to tick one of those off and the Hayes Lane ground looked to have lots of character, so it was an easy decision to head South.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

With two friends who were going to London for the Millwall v Leeds United game, we drove down to Peterborough and caught the train to Kings Cross. We then went our separate ways, with me getting the tube to Victoria and then a fast train to Bromley South, only 15 minutes away.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

I walked to the ground using the directions in the ground guide - an easy 15 minute stroll amongst expensive London houses! I then went into the impressive clubhouse and was delighted to find a Kent real ale on the bar. It's also worth pointing out that all Premier and Football League Season Ticket holders get a £5 reduction on the admission, so it only cost me £10 with my Leeds United ticket - a nice touch.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Hayes Lane Stadium?

As my previous reviews will testify, I'm a big fan of old grounds and this one had lots of interesting features, including an open terrace down the side with big barriers to lean on and a quirky mix of seats and benches behind one of the goals.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

This was my 20th game of the new season and perhaps the dullest, with very little goalmouth action. Bromley won it with a goal just before the end, but I felt a draw would probably have been a fairer reflection of the game.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

An equally easy walk back to the station for the 5.21pm train to Victoria and then onto Kings Cross to meet back up with my friends. We made good time back to Peterborough but then suffered two full road closures of the A1 en route to Leeds, so I didn't get home until 10.30pm.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Another great awayday and that's ground 329 safely ticked off - already planning the next one!

Bromley v Barrow
National League
Saturday 14th April 2017, 3pm
Brian Scott (Neutral fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Hayes Lane Ground?

I wanted a match to go to on Good Friday in the National League. It was either Bromley or Dover as the South and North leagues were not playing. I decided against Dover as I feel that the town warrants a much longer visit with an overnight stay, to visit the castle etc..

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

I had a very easy train journey from Stowmarket to Kings Cross via Cambridge. (Weekend engineering works at Shenfield as usual blocked the Great Eastern main line.) Then the Victoria Line soon whisked me to Victoria station and overground to Bromley South.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

As I had about two hours to spare I walked up Bromley High Street and around a few shops (boring!) before finding some gardens by the shopping centre. Much more interesting were the Church House Gardens slightly further west. But the closed toilet block in the garden was most inconvenient! Once away from the busy roads it was a pleasant walk along Hayes Road and into Hayes Lane with some well appointed houses on both sides. I hate to think how much they would cost! The ground is set in what looks like a country area with animals in paddocks and plenty of trees around. I found it very comical that a horse was actually looking INTO one of the horse sheds with another horse looking OUT of the same door.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Hayes Lane Ground?

Hayes Lane is a good old fashioned open ground with stands on all four sides, some showing that there is a need for improvement. I thought that the sheds at the back of the end stands were very odd with so many supports for such a short roof. It was clear that some improvement work had recently been completed on the open terracing with better crush barriers and segregation fences. I selected a seat at the back of the Main Stand and was seated by 2pm. I was most surprised that so many people began arriving early, and on checking my watch I saw that it was 2.20pm. I checked to see if my watch had stopped, but it hadn't. So I asked a friendly home fan why he had come so early, and he told me that it was necessary to get the seat that he wanted as none were reserved. Just like the old days when we had to arrive early to get the position on the terraces that we liked! The majority of the seats in the Main Stand were occupied well before kick off, but there were plenty of white seats and benches available in the South Stand. I was informed that the black seats in the Main Stand had came from Plough Lane Wimbledon, which probably explains why they look older than the stand itself. I did not find my seat very comfortable at all, and in fact for the second half I vacated it and sat in the South Stand on one of the benches leaning on the back of the stand. I spoke to several home fans in the Main Stand and they were all very helpful and wished me well on my groundhopping travels. One man in front of me told me that he was a purely non-league groundhopper and he had done 52 in Kent and Manchester where he originated from. He was most interested in my travels and I gave him details of this site which he hadn't heard of. I had read on this website Paul Willott's very funny comment about the PA system, and I'm pleased to report that it is now in full working order!

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The game was very one-sided in the first half. In the 9th minute Bromley scored from a free kick, but Barrow equalised through a penalty in the 18th minute. Bromley then had a penalty in the 22nd minute and scored a further goal in the 35th minute, making if 3-1 at half time. The second half was much more even with the home team adding a further goal a few minutes before the end. Bromley's number 27 was Shane McLochlin on loan from Ipswich. To be honest I hadn't heard of him as he must be a junior player.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

I left a few minutes before the end and was able to get the 17.04 non-stop train to London Victoria. The train arrived in the platform closest to the underground entrance at Victoria and the underground train arrived as I was walking onto the platform. Once again I was whisked under London and arrived at Kings Cross in plenty of time to catch the 17.44 to Cambridge. This was in the closest platform to the underground exit! All this meant that I arrived in Stowmarket a full hour early.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

It was a good day out at Hayes Lane with very good train travel on a pleasant spring day.

Bromley v Tranmere Rovers
National League
Saturday 6th August 2016, 3pm
Jim McClenning (Tranmere Rovers fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Hayes Lane Ground?

I have never been to Bromley FC before, and my team QPR were not playing until the day after. Tranmere Rovers are my "second team" having lived in Birkenhead for a time as a boy,  so I thought I would go and watch a game of football. Plus I have been to quite a few non league grounds in the London area, of which there are lots.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

I live in Notting Hill (Ladbroke Grove), I thought it would take me over hour and half, but no it took just over a hour, so easy to get to.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

I got to the Hayes Lane Ground about 12.30pm and was told the bar doesn't open until 1.30pm I did ask about the nearest pub, but as I turned around to go, I was told to come in, result, I must have had a lucky visage!

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Hayes Lane Ground?

First thoughts were of a compact tidy ground.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The game was a game of two halves, Tranmere won the first and scored two goals (after the first, a bloke in a hot dog costume ran onto the pitch, something I have not seen before) Bromley won the second half (just) and defended better than they did in the first half. The bar was clean and tidy and had numerous TV's. My one concern were dire burgers, which I think were microwaved.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

I didn't have to wait long for travel connections.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

I enjoyed the day, I sat in the Main Stand near to the bloke videoing the game, I will go again given the chance to see a good match.

Bromley v Boreham Wood
Saturday, April 4th, 2015, 3pm
National Conference South League
Paul Willott (Neutral fan)

What do two Preston North End fans living in exile in the south-east of England do for their Easter footy fix?  That’s right! They scour the fixture list of non-league action for something juicy to watch. In truth, I can claim no credit for this as I was contemplating nothing more exciting than a trip to the gym until my friend suggested this fixture and everything that could ride on the result so it was immediately a no-brainer. Any league encounter with a top versus second encounter is tasty in prospect, even more so when the gap is a mere  point with only less than a handful of games of the regular season remaining. Even the usual Easter diet of public transport disruption didn’t deter or disappoint; I simply jumped on a rail replacement bus from Chatham to Maidstone and took a direct train to Bromley South. Upon arrival there I opted for the lazy option and jumped a 119 bus going towards Croydon as it takes only a few minutes to reach Hayes Lane where the football club lives. The ground could easily be missed; Hayes Lane is very much a model of residential suburbia with not a pub or a shop in sight on that stretch of road, and but for the “Bromley Arena” logo on the brickwork surrounding the entrance you could be forgiven for thinking that the track led to nothing other than a set of stables, as the Bromley FC logo is much lower and obscured by parked cars to passing traffic.

That 'Low Key' Entrance

Bromley Arena Entrance

My friend and I paid £12 a head for our tickets and entered the ground through lovely old-fashioned turnstiles and opted to take a few beers from the quite modern looking bar before kick-off. As one may have expected, the bar was already quite well populated for such a key fixture, but the club had wisely prepared for this with an efficient queuing arrangement and plenty of staff which meant we could quench thirst and discuss football within seconds of arriving  as opposed to minutes. The bar area itself is quite spacious and well stocked with big TV screens where sporting action could be viewed from just about any location. Plenty of people wanted to chat with us and the atmosphere was very friendly indeed. Once the match was due to get underway, we drifted out and took a spot on the long terrace that runs opposite the main John Fiorini Stand. This really was a lovely old terrace with a few primitive crush barriers on it. We commented on how the two ends of the ground contrasted; although both were partly covered, they had enough supporting pillars to resemble the wing structure of a Sopwith Camel but were all the more attractive for it. One however was a pure terrace, the other had an eclectic mix of wooden benches and white plastic seats. 

Terraced End

Terraced End

Worthy of comment is the “Playzone” that sits the other side of the John Fiorini Stand to the bar and social club; this consists of a marquee emblazoned with the title of “playzone” so we mused whether the club in some way runs a crèche style play area for youngsters whilst their Dads are watching footy! If the facility is nothing to do with the club, one can only comment that it really is situated almost on top of the pitch! We guesstimated the crowd to be 1,500+ which was a little less than I might have expected given that there were not many games in the professional leagues on the Saturday, and given the profile of the fixture itself (I having previously witnessed a 4,500+ crowd at what was then Gravesend & Northfleet when they entertained Canvey Island for a similar 1st v 2nd fixture). That said, the atmosphere inside the little ground was lively enough with the home fans giving plenty of vocal support. That vocal home support was challenged after an early soft goal was conceded, but that was as good as it got for the small army of travelling Boreham Wood supporters, as the Lillywhites as they can be known (nice link for Preston NE fans) gradually imposed themselves on the game in the midfield without making any breakthrough until a very dubious penalty was given in the second half. Now lets be clear; we were there unashamedly to cheer the home side on, but we could not deny that the penalty award was a soft one. Was the referee fooled a little? Overall the ref wasn’t particularly brilliant, but he was in fairness equally bizarre to both sides with interpretations of some of the basics such as the advantage rule. On the subject of officials it was worthy of note that one of the “linesmen” was a young woman who put in a reliable shift and more pleasingly wasn’t subjected to any taunting or unkind behaviour that has been the subject of debate recently. Football IS changing.

Main Stand

Main Stand

The referee himself stole the show with an incident the likes of which I’ve never seen before when he decided to order one of the “official” photographers away from the playing area. The photographer in question had drawn attention to himself by deliberately booting the ball as far upfield as he could twice in quick succession instead of rolling it to the Bromley keeper, and given as each time he did this it was to rapturous applause and cheers from the away support in front of whom he was camped, one could deduce that this “official” photographer may have been with the Boreham Wood delegation. However, the ref had seen enough and decided to strut across and brandish a red card and order the photographer away. Much to the irritation/amusement of whichever team you were rooting for, the photographer just sat down and started to fiddle with his equipment whilst engaging in backchat with the referee. He may as well have been sat there like a naughty five year old sticking his tongue out. But, our comical little ref wasn’t going to be deterred, and after standing there prone for several minutes pointing out of the ground, a triumvirate of security gentlemen in orange hi-vis vests arrived on scene and “encouraged” the photographer nicely to shuffle along rather quickly which he duly did.   I’ve never seen the like of it before...

It merely delayed what seemed inevitable. Bromley were clearly in the ascendancy, and when late on in the second half Bradley Goldberg, the managers son, broke clear of the offside trap and slotted the ball in the back of the net with precise glee, the natives erupted with contentment. I must add at this point, that if anyone wants to cast any digs at the managers son being in the team, he was in my judgement one of the best players on the park that afternoon, fully deserving his goal as the home side deserved the three points.

As a footnote to the match, the actual attendance was given as 2,000+ which was higher than our guesstimate and I couldn’t comment on the quality of the food as by the time the queue had subsided sufficiently for me to want to join it, they’d run out of all food. 

The result effectively put the Lillywhites in the driving seat for the place at the top table of non-league football next season with a two point cushion over the afternoons opponents with only 4 games left to play and more crucially, a game in hand over said opponents. 

My friend and I happily trundled off on foot to Bromley town centre to grab a few more beers and discuss that important issue that is football having thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon. Despite the enjoyment, I would point out two issues that the club may need to look at. Firstly, the PA system is pitiful; all it consists of is , CLICK “haw hee haw hee haw hee hee haw to be replaced by hee haw hee haw haw” etc etc…….. if you get my drift. Nothing can be audibly interpreted, almost like the good old days of the 1980's on a railway station platform when all you could glean was some nasal drone and were none the wiser as to which train was arriving on which platform……  Ee by gum them were the days…

Secondly, the matchday programme really is arguably the least inspirational I think I have ever bought ( and I’ve done some real non-league in my time ), nothing at all of any interest, and the bare basics themselves weren’t exactly well written. Boys, save yourselves the cash and buy a beer instead.

We made ourselves a promise that we’ll be back for more next season, and since our visit the club can look forward to pitting themselves against names such as Lincoln City, Wrexham, and Tranmere Rovers as they duly sealed the deal on automatic promotion.

Plus points for Hayes Lane:
1 Very friendly and welcoming supporters on the terraces.
2 Fantastic bar and social club that would put many a league facility to shame.
3 Ground has a good character and feel about it.

Minus points for Hayes Lane:
1 PA system is truly awful.
2 Match day programme; don’t bother buying it and save yourself £2:50.

Bromley v Boreham Wood
Saturday, April 4th, 2015, 3pm
National Conference South League
Myles Munsey (Groundhopper)

Reason for going:
Besides looking like an interesting ground, my friend from Portsmouth and I had picked this game out several weeks ago as being a reasonably near one to visit with a potential table-topping decider on offer. As it turned out (with the season drawing to a close) when it came to the day of the game Bromley lay in second place, a point behind Boreham Wood and with a game in hand. The set up was perfect.

Getting there:
Because of extensive railway engineering work around Reading, my route had to be from Newbury to Reading, Clapham Junction, Victoria and down. My friend had the convenience of a direct train from Cosham to Victoria so we were able to meet there. Once we met up it was a simple 20 minute ride down to Bromley South, followed by a number 119 bus down to the ground.  

First impressions:
For the groundhopper like me (and the traditionalist) this ground was full of interesting curios. My first impression as I turned into the access road was one of intrigue. Nestling in leafy suburbia amongst posh residences and positioned next to a horses’ rest home the location of this ground is strange. But you can forget all that as you saunter up the road as a lovely old turnstile block greets you. If it was ‘breath in’ at Maidenhead it was ‘breathe even more in’ at Bromley. These have to be the narrowest turnstile entrances in football!

Main Entrance

Bromley Football Club Turnstiles

Once inside, the ground has a very nice ambience. A big bank of trees rises above the Norman Park End, whilst the metal sheds at both ends with their spindly supports are wonderful. The uneven concrete terracing as denoted on the crash barriers of the North Terrace was another nostalgic feature. At the stadium entrance and around the ground there were lots of Bromley FC signs – the one by the Main Stand being a rather nice mosaic.

Before the game:
We had a very nice fish and chip lunch in Bromley town centre before taking the bus down to the ground. Once inside the stadium I took the requisite pictures, for this guide, bought a programme and set about selecting seats in the John Florini Stand. It is a £1 surcharge to sit and this was arranged by a young boy dispensing tickets from a wooden box with a turning handle. Another blast from the past. A good job we got seated early though, as large crowd materialised (2,035) and unsurprisingly the seats ran out very quickly and were all gone by 2.40pm. There was no need for food as we had eaten earlier but a selection of catering prices at the Main Stand kiosk were noted:

Meal deal – Burger+chips+drink £5
Burger- plain, cheese or chicken £3
Cornish pasty, sausage rolls, pies or jacket potato £3
Coke, lemonade £1.50 Tea, coffee, Bovril £1  

The game:
A hugely entertaining game, full of action and quite a bit of passion resulting in a number of yellow cards.  A bit feisty at times with the atmosphere ramped up by a large crowd for this top of the table clash. Boreham Wood went ahead following a corner in the 14th minute, Josh Hill angling a header into the top left-hand corner. The home side then started to turn the screw with chances coming and going but were unable to score. Russell in the ‘Wood’ goal with one hand brilliantly saved a pile driver from Ali Fuseini just before the break so at half-time it was still 0-1.

Norman Park End

Norman Park End

In the 63rd minute Bromley won a rather contentious penalty. Anthony Cook who had caused problems to the ‘Wood’ defence all afternoon was supposedly fouled in the box. The decision looked harsh as contact looked minimal.  Anyway he dusted himself down to score with aplomb. And with just 9 minutes remaining Bradley Goldberg latched onto a threaded pass from Jack Holland to tuck the ball past James Russell for a priceless three points. A note on the officials. This was an extremely well-refereed game. The referee was very much in charge and stopped any nonsense, whilst letting the game flow when necessary. And it was nice to see a lady running the line on the near side. She too performed excellently and was spot on with her flag.

Getting away:
My friend decided to take the bus back to Croydon whilst I managed to walk from the ground to Bromley South station in just 13 minutes. It was a somewhat protracted journey home but this mattered not as I had one of the best football days out I had had in a long time.

Overall:
This was an excellent choice of match. Interesting ground, good game, terrific atmosphere and no bother whatsoever – all for £13. A good standard of football as well. The result makes the title run in look as though it will go to the wire. I would recommend this ground to anyone and if Bromley gain promotion (and I wish both them and Boreham Wood well) it will of course be at a higher level. 

Why not write your own review of Hayes Lane Bromley and have it included in the Guide? Find out more about submitting a Fans Football Ground Review.

Updated 20th August 2018

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