The Hoops take on a Crowborough Athletic side at home this weekend who always seem to prove difficult opponents for Derek Hares’ men.
The clubs have met seven times since the Crows switched from the Sussex County League to the Southern Counties East League in 2014 with Deal winning on just one occasion.
It looked like the Hoops were going to double that last figure in the opening league game of the current campaign when they led 1-0 late on at Maidstone’s Gallagher Stadium, which Crowborough are groundsharing this season, only for the Crows to snatch another victory with two goals in added time.
Hares recalled: “We deserved at least a draw up there and to lose the game through two late goals was sickening because the lads worked so hard and played some good football.”
That victory was one of six league wins that the Crows have recorded so far this season and they are currently lying fifth in the table with games in hand on all the clubs above them. They finished runners-up behind Ashford United last season and Hares added: “Crowborough will again be up there fighting for the title but, on our day, we are capable of beating anyone in this league.”
Steve Butcher and Joe Reeves will be available again on Saturday after being suspended for last Saturday’s goalless draw with Corinthian but Charlie Walsh, Steve O’Brien, Luke Bigginton and Ryan Philpott are all injury doubts which could mean another new chance for new signing Trinn Brisley who came on as a second-half substitute against Corinthian.