By Deal Town

Tuesday evening’s heavy rain didn’t deter another good crowd from turning up at the Charles Ground to watch the Hoops’ second pre-season friendly against  Dover Athletic.

And, as against Margate on Saturday, Deal gave a good account of themselves against a team from a higher level before eventually losing 3-0 to their Vanarama National League opponents.

For the Dover supporters present  it was their first opportunity to see the new-look Whites’ squad following all the “comings and goings” at Crabble during the past couple of months and it was one of the new faces, George Essuman, who opened the scoring on the half hour mark with an acrobatic overhead kick following a Mitch Brundle corner.

Although that was one of several corners Dover had forced in the opening period the Hoops again showed the same defensive resilience that had been a feature of their performance against Margate, and they almost equalised on the stroke of half-time when Joe Anderson’s glancing header from a Steve O’Brien cross struck the inside of a post.

Whites’ manager Chris Kinnear made nine changes at half-time including bringing on a number of trialists and it was one of the latter, whose name Whites’ officials weren’t prepared to reveal, who added Dover’s second goal with a 73rd-minute drive from outside the box.

At the other end one of Deal’s half-time subs, Amir Zureiqi, found the side-netting from an acute angle before Dover keeper Mitch Walker had to make his one genuine save of the night, pulling down a long-range strike from Lee Scott.

Then, with 11 minutes remaining, another of Dover’s new signings, ex-Newport County striker Ryan Bird, finished off the scoring with a sharp finish.

Deal team: Tonkin, Reeves, K Smith, Hill, O’Brien, Scott, Miller, Anderson, Adams, Gregory, Coyne. Subs: Zureiqi, Wilson, D Smith, Brunetti.

Dover starting XI: Walker, Fazakerley, Ilesamni, Essam, Parry, Essuman, Pinnock, Brundle, Richards, Allen, Sho-Silva.


The Hoops are in action at the Charles Ground again this Saturday (3pm) when they take on Aylesford side K Sports, who play in Division One of the Southern Counties East League.

3 Responses

  1. Another good turnout thanks to our noisy neighbours up the road. Much appreciated!
    Shame about the idiots with the fares!(Its Deal you’re playing,not Galatasaray!) 😉
    Can I suggest we give the trialists a bit more game time,as “cameo” appearances don’t give a true picture of what they could be worth to the team.
    Again,all credit to the team for last nights performance. Lets hope we can carry this form forward to the league

  2. A great turnout and decent game of football.
    Credit to the players who have gained a lot of experience.
    Shame about the idiots but a lot more could’ve been done
    on the night to prevent queues at the gate and cones from the police to help with parking issues outside the ground.
    Maybe another turnstile whilst Mill Road is shut.
    Getting a decent crowd generates much needed cash and I know it’s difficult with staff and volunteers who do a great job but backup is needed when a crowd is expected.
    Sheppey Utd get 300 plus each game.
    Getting the buzz already and can’t wait for the season to start. When are the league fixtures coming out.?
    COME ON DEAL.!!!!!

  3. I managed to get down to the Dover game and was impressed by both sides.
    This is the first time I had seen Dover since they played Windsor in the FA Cup in the 1990s and how the club has changed – I hope they do well in the league especially with so many players leaving – It will be interesting when they meet Maidenhead United a club who I played against in friendlies in the 1980s – They were about the same size as Deal then and played in the sixth or seventh tier at the time.
    Everytime I visit Deal I am more and more impressed by the club and believe that with a fair wind behind it that they will make giant strides forward.
    I currently watch Hungerford Town who are in tier six and like Maidenhead have done really well and if it had not been for a crazy FA decision would have most likely been involved in the play-offs last season.

    My daughter lives in Deal so I will take the opportunity to see Deal (or maybe Canterbury) as often as I can.

    Good Luck for the season guys


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