A poor first half performance meant the Hoops left themselves with too much to do to avoid defeat at the hands of league newcomers Welling Town.
Sloppy defending allowed “the Boots” to build a 3-0 interval lead and although Deal produced a much improved second-half display it wasn’t enough to prevent them losing their first-ever meeting with last season’s Division One winners.
Before Saturday the Hoops had been solid at the back so far this season, conceding just five goals in their opening five league games, but that “goals against” figure had doubled by the final whistle after a series of defensive blunders. The Welling player to benefit the most was Joel Thompson who helped himself to a hat-trick inside the opening the opening 34 minutes.
Derek Hares decided that changes were needed for the second half and so he brought on Jack Penny and Ben Cardwell, and within six minutes of the restart the Hoops were back in the game. Penny quickly made his mark with an unstoppable 47th-minute free kick and then four minutes later Sam Wilson cut the deficit to 3-2.
But once again Welling were handed another goal two minutes later, this time scored by Adam O’Neill, and so Hares decided to play his “final card” by bringing on Joe Reeves for his first appearance of the season.
And with 73 minutes gone “Reevo” provided the through-ball from which Connor Coyne claimed his third goal of the campaign. So as the contest entered its dying stages the Hoops looked capable of avoiding their second league defeat but instead it was the home side who had the final word when Carl Oblitey grabbed their fifth goal in added time.
Deal: Tonkin, Alexander (Penny HT), Hark (Reeves 66), Smith, Bigginton, O’Brien, Treadwell (Cardwell HT), Murray, Chapman, Coyne, Wilson.