The Hoops will be bidding to reach the third round proper of the FA Vase for the first time in 12 years when they travel to take on Chichester City on Saturday.
The last occasion that Deal reached the third round was in the 2005-06 season when they lost 4-2 to Tavistock at the Charles Ground. Chichester, for their part, reached the last 32 last season, an achievement which means they have received a bye until this season’s second round.
And the west Sussex club are enjoying another good campaign. They are currently lying in third place in the Macron Southern Combination League Premier Division, three points behind leaders Haywards Heath who beat them 2-1 last weekend thanks to an injury-time goal.
“The Chi”, as they are nicknamed, have an impressive scoring record with 43 goals in their 16 league games so far and Hoops manager Derek Hares said: “It’s going to be a tough game. They are doing well in their league and scoring a lot of goals, but it we play to our full potential we’ve got a chance.”
Jack Paxman and Steve Butcher both return to the squad after being suspended for last Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat by Sevenoaks while Hares is hoping that Charlie Walsh will be fit to return after missing the Hoops’ last three matches through injury.