Deal boosted their goal tally to 21 in the last seven matches – and they could also afford to miss a penalty into the bargain.
The very last piece of action in Saturday’s game saw K Sports ‘keeper Haydon Chipping claw away Alfie Foster’s spot kick after Ben Chapman had been brought down, but by then the Hoops had already long sewn up their fourth successive victory over the Cobdown club.
Manager Derek Hares said: “K Sports are a decent side but apart from a 10-15 spell before half-time I thought we dominated the game and looked really good going forward. The boys worked hard and created a lot of chances and we know we can give anyone a game here.”
Deal have lost just once in eight matches at the Charles Ground this season and once they had taken the lead in this latest fixture the result was never really in doubt against a K Sports side who had lost their three previous games without scoring a single goal.
After surviving several early Hoops chances they fell behind with 23 minutes gone when Connor Coyne produced one of his “specials”, the striker pouncing on a poor defensive header to volley home over Chipping from all of 25 yards.
Then, less than two minutes later, Coyne was fouled in the area as he challenged for a Charlie Walsh long throw and Macauley Murray drilled home the resulting penalty.
With Deal ‘keeper James Tonkin yet to be tested it already looked purely a question of “how many” the Hoops would win by but it didn’t quite work out that way. K Sports suddenly began to offer some attacking threat of their own and Tonkin was twice called into action to deny first Daniel Stubbs and then Regan Corke while Connor Pring should have done better when he fired across the face of the Hoops goal.
So Deal reached half-time slightly fortunate to still be two goals in front and that was even more true after K Sports were awarded a 49th-minute penalty. Billy Munday tripped Jack Bray but Josh Brown blasted his spot kick over the bar to underline the visitors’ lack of confidence in front of goal.
And Deal then assumed full command soon afterwards when Foster headed home a Jack Penny corner at the far post before an error by Chipping, when he fumbled a Murray corner, “gifted” Foster another goal 15 minutes from time.
K Sports did finally manage to end their recent goal drought through substitute Jordan Ababio just before the end of normal time, and although Foster was then denied an unlikely hat-trick by Chipping’s penalty save, it was irrelevant as far as the three points were concerned. A delighted Hares added: “After losing 6-2 at Sheppey I’ve got to be pleased with the way we’ve come back with two wins this week and, if we can beat Tunbridge Wells here next Saturday, I imagine we won’t be far off the top six.”
Deal: Tonkin, Reeves, Penny, Foster, Smith (Maughan 46), Munday, Chapman, Murray, Coyne, Walsh (O’Brien 74), Cardwell (Hark 63).