The Hoops came away from their visit to in-form Canterbury City with a hard earned point thanks to an equaliser from Lee Scott with little over ten minutes remaining. The game was closely contested throughout and although the home side created the better chances the Hoops always looked a threat and will feel they did enough in the second half to earn their point.
It was the Hoops who started well and Sam Wilson was unlucky when Jack Delo made a good early block as the Hoop’s striker bore down on goal following some good build up play. However, as the half wore on it was Canterbury who were creating the more threatening chances, with Lightfoot and Lee both going close. Deal looked a threat however from set pieces and it took a good block from Gary Sayer to stop the Hoops taking the lead.
With Dean Grant causing problems for the away side it was City took a deserved lead on thirty two minutes. A Froggatt cross was deflected into the path of Lightfoot and as two Deal defenders tried to block the shot Lightfoot found a yard of space before firing clinically into the bottom corner. Canterbury then went on to dominate the remainder of the half and had good chances to extend their lead but some brave defending from Tonkin and his defensive unit meant the score remained at 1-0 going into the break.
Deal started the second half in positive fashion and forced a number of set-pieces in the early encounters and City defended their box well on a number of occasions at the Hoops could not force home an equaliser. Dean Grant continued to be a threat for the home side and Tonkin had to be alert to save at his feet as the home side had a good chance to extend their lead.
The introduction of Andy Miller, Harris Rodgers and Joe Reeves added extra urgency to the Deal attack as they looked for an equaliser and it was the latter who played a key part in the 78th minute goal. The excellent Lee Scott broke up play in midfield before playing a good ball wide to Reeves, as Scott continued his run into the box Reeves delivered a brilliant cross that fell at the Scott’s feet for him to divert home from four yards. The last ten minutes saw chances for both sides but 2018 ended with a point a piece for each side. Deal entertain top of the table Fisher next week as their run of tough fixtures continue but they will be buoyed by picking up this point.
Deal Town: Tonkin, Chapman, O’Brien, Maughan, Foster, Hark, Munday (Rodgers), Scott, Coyne (Reeves) , Wilson, Pilcher (A Miller)