Two goals in the space of four second-half minutes meant the Hoops exited this season’s Kent Senior Trophy at the first hurdle on Saturday.
But, as far as manager Derek Hares was concerned, the real turning point of the tie came after just 20 minutes when midfielder Nick Treadwell was shown a straight red card for tripping an opponent while lying on the ground.
Hares said: “I thought it was a yellow card and no more, and to have play for 70 minutes against Corinthian with 10 men was asking too much because they are a good side.”
Corinthian are also familiar adversaries for the Hoops, with the teams having met eight times in the previous two seasons, with Deal winning just twice, and once again Hares’ men had to give second best to the home side who, after a stuttering start to the campaign, are now running into the sort of form which enabled them to finish runners-up in the league last season.
They took just six minutes to claim the lead on Saturday through George Snelling and then came Treadwell’s early departure to leave the Hoops with a mountain to climb to stay in the competition.
But the Hoops gave themselves hope by equalising on the stroke of half-time when Ben Chapman converted Jack Penny’s cross following Deal’s best move of the game.
And they could have taken the lead early in the second half when their strong appeals for a penalty were turned down after Sam Wilson’s shot struck an opponent’s arm.
Instead it was Corinthian who struck next just past the hour mark through Oscar Housego, and when Luke Tanner made it 3-1 minutes later the Hoops’ 10 men were left with too much to do.
Deal: Tonkin, Hark, Penny, Bigginton, Smith, Treadwell, Chapman, Murray, Coyne, Wilson, Robinson.