Hoops lose out on 3 points to City

By Deal Town

Deal  are still waiting to collect their first away league point of the season after suffering their third defeat on the road in three SCEL matches on Wednesday night.

Derek Hares’ side paid the price for a sluggish opening half hour, during which Canterbury took a deserved lead, and the Hoops then conceded a “soft” second goal just before half-time which left them with too much to do in the second half.

The match was played on the new 3G pitch at Ashford United’s Homelands Stadium, where City  are currently playing their home matches while they continue their search for a new ground in or near Canterbury,   and the “home” side looked distinctly more comfortable on the all-weather surface in the opening stages of what was also the Canterbury players’ first taste of the new pitch.

They went in front after 12 minutes when Matt Martin found space on the right before curling in a deep cross which Rob Lawrence headed home under the diving body of Chris Waymark.

Martin then saw his shot deflected against the Deal woodwork a few minutes later while at the other end a couple of efforts  into the side netting from Grant Bagley and Connor Coyne represented the biggest threat that Deal could offer in the opening period as they struggled to reproduce some of their recent fluent football.

And the situation worsened on the stroke of half-time when Andy Miller lost possession just outside his penalty area to set up a second City goal for David Pilcher.

Hares and Co resisted the temptation to make any changes during the interval, but whatever they said to the players had the desired effect because Deal produced a much better second half performance. Reve Rivera showed the way with a couple of earlypacy dribbles and within 10 minutes of the restart Town were back in the ball game.

Charlie Walsh delivered a long throw to the near post which Coyne flicked on and up into the air. The ball should really have been claimed by City keeper Shannon Harris but he spilt possession almost on the goalline and Dean Hill took advantage to force home his third goal in two matches.

Waymark was enjoying a much quieter second half as Deal continued to set the tone and it looked like they were going to draw level with 17 minutes left when Lee Scott found himself with a clear shooting opportunity in the City area.

But Harris gained some redemption for his earlier error by blocking Scott’s effort low down and a relieved City were then content to “play out time” to record their  fifth home win in the last five seasons over the Hoops.

Deal:  Waymark, Hark, Bagley, Hill, Dickens, Scott (Tanner 75mins), Walsh, Miller (Knight 63mins), Philpott (Anderson 75mins), Rivera, Coyne.



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