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Deal Town ready to meet Rusthall in the Southern Counties East Premier Division

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Deal Town manager Derek Hares knows weekend hosts Rusthall will give his high-flyers a proper test when they meet in the league on Saturday.

Rusthall are only just outside the relegation places in the Southern Counties East Premier Division, but produced a surprise win at Beckenham last week in the Kent Senior Trophy and prior to that picked up three points by beating Tunbridge Wells in a keenly-contested derby.

Deal Town manager Derek Hares Picture: Chris Davey
Deal Town manager Derek Hares Picture: Chris Davey

Hares said: “It is always difficult there, they had a good win last week against Beckenham in the cup, which was surprising.

“We expect all away games to be difficult and we don’t expect that will be any different.

“They are down near the bottom but they will be fighting for points and I am sure it will be another big challenge for us.

“We have to make sure we play well. If we do then we have a chance.”

Hares’ side have had a busy period and the manager was pleased to see them making the most of their chances to sweep Canterbury aside last Tuesday in the Challenge Cup first round, winning 6-1.

Rene Rivera opened the scoring after just seven minutes and although Will Oliver levelled it up soon after, the Hoops were 3-1 up at the break.

Macaulay Murray got the first of his hat-trick from the penalty spot and Tom Chapman scored on 43 minutes. Connor Coyne added a fourth and Murray ensured it was a big win after converting a couple of free-kicks.

“It was nice to see those goals go in,” said the Hoops boss.

“Macca’s second free-kick was lovely and one of the main factors that we had lost our last two previous to that, against Hollands & Blair and Littlehampton Town (in the FA Vase), was that we didn’t take our chances.

“We won it comfortably, as the scoreline suggests, and scoring six was a bonus.

“We didn’t have loads of chances but the ones we had we took.”

Cup progress is important for Hares and they followed that win with an impressive 6-2 victory over Erith & Belvedere on Tuesday night in a rearranged Kent Senior Trophy match.

Goals from Tom Chapman (2), Billy Munday (2), Sam Wilson and Connor Coyne clinched their place in the next round.

The tie had been due to be played on Saturday, but a waterlogged pitch at The Charles Ground led to that being postponed.

Hares said: “We got through in the Challenge Cup against Canterbury and it keeps your season going when you are in the cups.

“They are very important for us, you have to play well and have a bit of luck, but it would be nice to go all the way in both if we could. You want to give the cups a real good go, that is the aim.”

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