By Deal Town

Second half goals from Rene Rivera and Connor Coyne ensured that AFC Croydon Athletic returned home pointless from their first ever visit to the Charles Ground on Saturday.

But the south London side, who have acquitted themselves well in their first season as a Step Five club, gave the Hoops plenty to think about before Coyne’s superb strike   12 minutes from time wrapped up the points.

Manager Derek Hares said:  “Croydon were definitely the better side for the first 25 minutes and they were always dangerous throughout the game, but I thought we really pushed on in the second half and deserved the win.”

Good work by goalkeeper Dan Brabham and centre-half Grant Bagley ensured that Deal kept a welcome first clean sheet in 11 matches, and after surviving a shaky opening the Hoops gradually began to get on top. Danny Smith’s 25-yard free-kick  drew an excellent save from Croydon keeper Dan Burnett and then Rivera struck the woodwork as half-time approached.

But Croydon again went closest to breaking the deadlock  in the early stages of the second half, with Brabham denying Danny Cumber and Liam Hark heading off the line from Jordan Martin.

With the Hoops struggling to create any clear cut chances at the other end, a repeat of the goalless draw between the two sides in south London back in early November was looking increasingly likely until Deal were awarded a penalty after 72 minutes. Rivera was tripped as he turned in the box and he picked himself up to fire home his 17th goal of the season.

And seven minutes later Coyne claimed his 15th goal of the campaign in memorable fashion. The striker cut back inside from the right edge of the area before drilling a low left-foot shot into the far corner.

Coyne was then denied twice more by Burnett in the closing stages but Deal had already done enough to secure their second win in three games, with Hares adding:  “That gives us 35 points and our aim has always been to beat the 46 that we got last season, and with another seven games left I’m confident we will do it.”   

Deal: Brabham, Hark, Bagley, A Coyne, Smith, Bigginton (Baines 48mins), Anderson, Walsh, Miller (Gregory 71mins), C Coyne, Rivera (Scott 80mins).

Attendance: 98

2 Responses

  1. Yesterday was a real team performance Del and Steve got exactly what they wanted and in the end what they fully deserved.
    AFC Croydon are no pushovers so a win is great.
    It’s great for the team to get a run going and get more confidence. A clean sheet was well earned and young Dan Bramham in goal did very well.Its a step up for him
    but he can be really proud of his performance.
    All the team have worked hard and with the attitude that they have can push on up the league.
    It would be a fine achievement if they could get in the top half.
    Another away match at Fisher on Saturday.
    COME ON DEAL.!!!!

  2. I must say I did expect the worst,looking at the patched up side that took to the field. With Brabham in goal and Hill missing,I knew the team had to work en mass(e) in their hunt for goals! 😉
    Despite the blustery wind and hard bumpy pitch,both teams put some good football together at times.
    Although CC got the MOM award,I would have split it between the likes of Bagley and Brabham for Deal and the opposition keeper who not only produced some fine saves but looked very confident in all aspects of his play.
    Best bit of the day-a member of the oppositions’ management ordered from the bench,bellowing out from in front of the changing rooms!
    So its away to the Fish next week. Will we have any problems finding the net?
    Good luck to all involved.

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