The Hoops coasted to their first home win of the season against early-season relegation candidates Crowborough.
Saturday’s defeat was the Sussex club’s fifth league loss in a row and the three goals they conceded meant the Crows have already let in 25 so far this campaign – and that figure could easily have been higher if Deal had been more clinical in the final third.
After surviving some early aerial pressure from corners the Hoops began to take control of the game in midfield, which meant Ben Chapman and Joe Reeves were provided with plenty of opportunities to test the visitors’ leaky defence with their pace. And it was those two players who combined for the opening goal after 13 minutes when Reeves delivered a delicious right-wing cross which Chapman thumped home from close range.
That could have set the scene for another miserable 90 minutes for Crowborough, who have already suffered 8-0 and 6-0 hammerings this season, but instead they managed to reach half-time only trailing to Chapman’s strike after the Hoops failed to convert their superiority into further goals.
But within five minutes of the restart Deal did put themselves firmly in the driving seat and Chapman was once more involved. Again his pace proved too much for the visitors and although the midfielder’s low cross-shot rebounded back off the inside of a post, Nick Treadwell was on hand to bag his first goal in a Hoops shirt.
And the match was virtually all over when Sam Wilson made it 3-0 just past the hour mark after being sent clear by Macauley Murray, whose precise passing was a feature of the Hoops display.
With nothing to lose Crows manager Sean Muggeridge now turned to his subs’ bench and one of the players he brought on, winger Trey Masikini, soon began to cause the Deal defence problems with his skilful dribbling. But Hoops keeper James Tonkin still didn’t have to make his only real save of the contest until nine minutes from time when he blocked Sam Haylett’s drive low down.
Hoops manager Derek Hares said afterwards: “I thought we were very good in the early stages of the second half and got a couple more goals, but then we slackened off a bit after that. But we still kept another clean sheet, which means we’ve only conceded one goal in four home games this season and you’ve got to be happy with that.”
Deal: Tonkin, Reeves, Penny (O’Brien 82), Bigginton, Smith, Hark, Treadwell, Murray (Alexander 78), Wilson (Coyne 66), Chapman, Munday.