DEAL TOWN 2 BECKENHAM TOWN 2
Two late goals by Sam Wilson salvaged a precious point for the Hoops against league leaders Beckenham on Saturday.
With Deal trailing 2-0 and facing their fourth defeat in a row in all competitions, the striker picked a timely moment to end his personal five-game goal drought and so deny Becks their 10th win in 13 league matches.
Hoops manager Derek Hares said: “After going in at half-time 2-0 down to the league leaders it was very pleasing to see the character that the boys showed in the second half to fight back and earn a point against a very good Beckenham side.”
Deal, who had Jake Munday making his debut in midfield after signing on a dual registration basis from Ramsgate, were far from outplayed in the opening 45 minutes but couldn’t match two pieces of clinical finishing by the visitors.
The first came after 27 minutes when Billy Bennett’s incisive through-ball set up Jake Rose, and then eight minutes before half-time Eku Dean cleverly worked his way to the byline before drilling in a low cross which Jesse Darko converted from close range.
It left the Hoops with a mountain to climb in the second half against a big and powerful Beckenham outfit but Hares’ men stuck doggedly to their task and, with eight minutes left, Wilson gave them fresh hope when he turned in a Steve O’Brien free-kick at the near post.
But, having used up all their substitutes, Deal were reduced to 10 men soon afterwards when Luke Bigginton limped off injured, and with the Hoops still trailing two minutes into added time another defeat seemed certain until the Wilson-O’Brien combination paid off again. This time the striker glanced home another pinpoint free-kick from his team-mate.
Hares added: “Scoring two goals like that from set-pieces was especially pleasing, and they will do Sam a lot of good after the little run he’s had recently. But I also want to mention Josh Maughan and Kane Smith who were both excellent in defence, and getting the draw means we have only lost three times in 13 league games which I think we would have taken at the start of the season.”
Deal: Tonkin, Scott, O’Brien, Maughan, Smith, Foster (Bigginton 60), Munday, Cardwell, Wilson, Rodgers (Alexander 25), Reeves (Coyne 73).