A double strike from Sam Wilson enabled the Hoops to finish their season on a positive note.
Derek Hares’ side went into Saturday’s game on the back of a three-match losing run but a goal in each half from Wilson helped Deal to an overdue success at the Culverden Stadium, where they had lost on their five previous visits.
Hoops’ head coach Steve King “tweeted” afterwards: “I’m proud of the boys today for finishing with a win, and (getting) 55 points in a very tough league is a decent total although we were hoping for more.”
The Hoops made a great start, scoring twice in the opening 12 minutes. Connor Coyne got the first from a 10th-minute cross by Jude Arthurs and then Wilson opened his account two minutes later with a header from Billy Munday’s superb through ball.
Deal remained on top for the rest of the half and Coyne and Wilson both went close to scoring again before the interval, but the second half was a different story. Wells, who had only won two league games at home all season, quickly began to put some pressure on the Hoops defence and they reduced the deficit with a 53rd-minute header from Josh Biddlecombe.
And 11 minutes later the contest was all square again when Jason Thompson finished off a deep cross into the box.
The Hoops’ management team responded by making a double substitution, bringing on Josh Maughan and Dave Pilcher for Macauley Murray and Munday, and Deal gradually regained their earlier control. Jude Arthurs marked the end of his loan spell at the club by firing home his first goal in a Hoops shirt on 75 minutes, and then Wilson wrapped up the points from a Pilcher free kick two minutes from time.
The added bonus for Wilson was that it took his goal tally for the season to 17, thus winning him the club’s “Leading Scorer” award ahead of Coyne, who finished with 16.
Deal: Tonkin, Chapman, Scott, Smith, Hark, Arthurs, B Munday (Pilcher 66), Murray (Maughan 66), Reeves (Alexander 79), Wilson, Coyne.