A goal six minutes from time by substitute Harry Alexander sent Deal into the third round qualifying of the Buildbase FA Vase on Saturday.
The winger, who had come on for Charlie Walsh 20 minutes earlier, latched onto Kane Smith’s delivery into the box and turned inside a Hounslow defender before nudging a shot past United keeper Kyle Cherry.
And it proved enough to decide a cup tie in which both sides enjoyed fluctuating periods of control, with Hoops’ manager Derek Hares admitting afterwards: “It wasn’t one of our best performances but if you can win when you aren’t playing quite so well that’s got to be a good sign.”
Although Smith headed a great early chance wide from Andy Miller’s cross it was the Combined Counties League team who looked the sharper for most of the first period but they had to wait until just before half-time before gaining any reward, with Shakeel Morris fending off Jack Paxman’s challenge before firing home.
It meant the Hoops, who appeared a little jaded after all the matches they have played in recent weeks, had to find something extra after the break and it took them only two minutes to do so. Miller picked out Sam Wilson in the penalty area and the striker, back in the side after missing the last two games through injury, clipped home his 11th goal of the season.
That set the stage for a tense and evenly-balanced second half which could have gone either way, but with extra-time looming Alexander popped up to edge the Hoops in front and they then survived a hectic goalmouth scramble in the dying seconds to secure their place in the next round.
Hares added: “ I thought we didn’t play particularly well in the first half but responded well in the second half, and getting that early goal obviously helped.
“We’ve played a lot of football in recent weeks and had a lot of injuries, and when you take that into account I’ve got to be pleased with the way the season has started.”
Deal: Tonkin, Paxman, Hark, Hill, K Smith, Scott, Butcher (D Smith 76), Walsh, Coyne (Adams 58), Wilson, Miller.