Home   Deal   Sport   Article

Deal Town boss Steve King warns against complacency as his side start run of four successive home matches against Fisher and Southern Counties East Premier Division leaders Glebe

There is no room for complacency for title-chasing Deal, manager Steve King has warned.

King’s Hoops bounced back from their FA Vase Quarter-Final penalty shootout exit the previous weekend at Lincoln United with a hard-fought 2-1 Southern Counties East Premier Division victory at strugglers Sutton Athletic last weekend.

Deal defender Jack Penny – converted a late penalty in their 2-1 victory at Sutton Athletic on Saturday. Picture: Paul Willmott
Deal defender Jack Penny – converted a late penalty in their 2-1 victory at Sutton Athletic on Saturday. Picture: Paul Willmott

Now, third-placed Deal, scheduled to play Fisher tonight, are due to play four straight home games, which includes Saturday’s visit of frontrunners Glebe for a huge match at the Charles Sports Ground.

But King, whose troops will take on another struggling side in Welling Town on Tuesday, said: “A lot of sides have a lot to play for.

“There’s a lot of sides involved in that relegation battle. It’s not like one or two sides are cut adrift.

“A lot of sides will fancy nicking that last play-off spot and probably four of us are going for the title.

“All over the division, everyone is going to turn up motivated. Certain clubs will throw silly money at it in the next couple of weeks either to stay up or get into the play-offs.

Deal defender makes team of the week

“Every game is going to be difficult.

“We struggled at Sutton on Saturday but, vice-versa, Glebe struggled at home to Welling (drawing 1-1). Obviously, Corinthian lost (2-0) at Punjab.

“We’re in the box seat because we have got the games in hand and the most opportunity, but no games are guaranteed.

“We have got four home games on the spin now and our home form has been good, so we hope to get four wins.

“But we know it’s not going to be a case of rocking up and doing it. We’re going to have to play really well.

Deal boss Steve King. Picture: Paul Willmott
Deal boss Steve King. Picture: Paul Willmott

“If anybody in our camp even subconsciously thought that, Saturday acted as a really useful reminder to us that no one is going to roll over.

“It’s not going to be easy.”

Striker Aaron Millbank put Deal ahead at Sutton Athletic, only for the hosts to reply.

But Jack Penny won it with a late penalty.

“It was tough,” reflected King, who insists big-spending Faversham are still capable of winning their remaining matches and challenging them for the title.

“Obviously, we were trying to bounce back from the disappointment of the previous weekend and Sutton - who are fighting for their lives - made it very difficult.

“You only have got to look at some of the other results in the division, Glebe struggling at home to Welling, to realise we’re in that time of the season where you’re going to get some funny results.

“Every game is going to be really difficult and we found that. The most important thing from our point-of-view was we found a way to win the game.

“We got three points.

“Whether you win 5-0 and are really comfortable or 2-1 in the last five minutes, it’s the same three points.

“So, we’re delighted to keep our good league form going. With a couple of other results, it ended up being a good day.”

Left-back Penny has been a regular provider of goals from set-pieces this term - but kept his nerve under pressure to score himself at Sutton Athletic.

King noted: “Jack has been outstanding.

“He was our player-of-the-season last year and has been outstanding again.

“We’ve had a couple of issues with penalties recently where we have missed a couple and Jack always looks like scoring whenever we get to a penalty shootout.

“So, we have put him on them - and what a pressure situation for him on Saturday!

“The players had an instinct for some of the other results at that point, so we knew it was a big moment, and he looked very confident over his penalty. It was never in doubt.

“I was pleased for him.

“He’s a player I’ve got a lot of time for and he’s very important to what we want to do.”

Among those on the substitutes’ bench at Sutton Athletic were the key duo of Ben Chapman and Rory Smith.

But with the league now King’s sole focus, he says he’s more inclined to risk some of his more important players in games - even if they’re not fully fit.

He explained: “We’re, obviously, looking after people a little bit, trying to look after knocks and you can see that from some of our substitutes’ benches.

“Players who would normally play have been on them. We’re just trying to look after people.

“But the situation changes with us being out of the Vase now. Whereas before, we were looking at those games and trying to look after people a bit more, now, we won’t do that for the rest of the season.

“If people want to play and they’re 80 percent, then they will play. We won’t be taking people off after 60 minutes to look after them.

“That’s where I think the clarity has helped us a little bit.”

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More