The Hoops kept their fourth cleansheet in their last five home games on Easter Monday which helped to ease some of the frustration they had to endure at the other end of the pitch.
It was one of those end-of-season matches between two mid-table sides who were both lacking in attacking sharpness, with Deal manager Derek Hares saying: “I thought that both teams fought hard but there was that little bit of quality missing in the final third.
“The bumpy pitch and windy conditions didn’t help, but we probably created a few more chances than they did and defensively I was again pleased with our performance.”
Deal’s back three of Liam Hark, Lee Scott and man-of-the-match Kane Smith were all rock solid and ensured that keeper James Tonkin had to make only a handful of genuine saves throughout the entire 90 minutes but the Hoops, especially in the first half, were too careless with the ball in possession to be able to offer much of an attacking threat.
Joe Reeves and Dan Adams were both denied by United keeper Michael Elder while Steve O’Brien saw his inswinging corner headed off the goalline by Ricky Holmes, but otherwise the Hoops had to wait until the second half before building any sustained period of pressure.
Charlie Walsh almost broke the deadlock within two minutes of the restart and then it became a story of Deal shots or crosses being continually blocked by a Rochester backline which was as resolute as the Hoops’, but Hares was able to draw consolation from the fact that his side have now lost only twice in the last 13 league games.
He said: “Considering where we were at the end of January (18th in the table) I have got to be pleased with what the boys have done over the past couple of months. They’ve worked hard and got us well away from the relegation dogfight.”
Deal: Tonkin, Paxman, Scott, Hark, K Smith, O’Brien, Adams, Anderson (Coyne 60) , Reeves (Alexander 69), Philpott, Walsh.