The Hoops face a tough task when they travel to Whitstable Town for a SCEL Challenge Cup quarter-final tie on Tuesday night (7.45pm).
The Oystermen have won their last six matches, including beating Cray Valley PM 1-0 at the weekend in the semi-finals of the Kent Reliance Senior Trophy, and have only lost five times in 22 league games this season.
But the Hoops will be able to draw encouragement from the fact that one of those five defeats was against Deal, with two goals from Sam Wilson giving Derek Hares’ side a 2-1 victory over Whitstable at the Charles Ground back in early September when Scott Porter’s team were top of the table.
And the Hoops’ recent record is also good with four wins in their last five matches in league and cup, although their chances against Whitstable may not have been helped by having their last two scheduled games at Lordswood and Rusthall both postponed.
If Tuesday’s game goes ahead one interesting name in the Whitstable line-up could be Macauley Murray, the son of former Hoops’ manager Paul Murray, who played a full 90 minutes against Cray Valley on Saturday.