Hoops come out on top against free scoring Millers
The Hoops’ produced their best performance of the season to come away from The Badger’s Ground with all three points against free scoring Cray Valley thanks to a Ben Chapman brace and a first Deal goal for Billy Munday.
Meeting a side who have been in an excellent run of form Deal made the perfect start to the game with Munday heading in at the back post within the first minute from a pinpoint Steve O’Brien free kick. The home side then looked to respond and despite having plenty of possession didn’t threaten Tonkin’s goal until the 25th minute when a mistake in the Deal defence saw Joe N’Guessan race clear and finish well to level the scores.
At this stage many may have thought that Cray Valley would go on and dominate the game, but it was the Hoops who struck next in the 27th minute with Ben Chapman volleying in at the back post after another excellent O’Brien cross to give the visitors a 2-1 half time lead.
The home side started the second half well and again had the majority of possession forcing a number of corners, but it was Deal who had a great chance to extend their lead when Andy Miller fired just wide after good work from Chapman. The visitors were defending well but the equaliser was to come in the 79th minute less than a minute after the Hoops had a penalty shout turned down. The equalising goal came from another good finish this time from Anthony Edgar and it looked like the Hoops would be trying to hold out for a point against a side who have averaged nearly four goals a game in the league this season.
However, Ben Chapman had different ideas and after being put through by Andy Miller he calmly finished off the post to give the Hoops their third lead of the day. Despite Cray Valley hitting a post in the last ten minutes Deal held firm thanks to some good goalkeeping from Tonkin and secured a well-deserved three points. The Hoops face another tough fixture next week as they travel to 2nd place Beckenham but will buoyed by this win, their 4th in their last 5 games.
Deal: Tonkin, Hark, O’Brien, Maughan, Foster, Scott, B Munday (C Miller 80), A Miller (J Munday 88), Chapman, Wilson, Rodgers (Coyne 72)