Published: 05:00, 27 October 2021
Manager Derek Hares admits there is a great atmosphere at Deal Town at present as their remarkable run continues.
The Hoops earned a ninth win on the spin on Saturday when beating Southern Counties East rivals Kennington 4-0 in the FA Vase - a second success in two matches against the same opposition.
Deal were aiming for a 10th consecutive victory last night at Bearsted but were held to a 2-2 draw, although they did extend their unbeaten run.
They visit Fisher this Saturday.
Hares said: “When you start winning games, everyone is fired up for every game but one or two defeats can change that.
“You can never tell (when the next loss is coming from). It can change at any time.
“But I think the boys are feeling confident, they are playing well. All we can do is try and win.
“To win nine games on the trot is certainly not easy, especially in this league.”
A crowd of 423 were at the Charles Ground at the weekend as a Ben Chapman brace, alongside goals from captain Kane Smith and Alfie Foster, did the damage.
Hares said: “It’s never the easiest of games when you play the same team twice in two weeks but it was a deserved win.
“We were 4-0 up at half-time, and the game was virtually won by then.
"The second half, they came out a bit fired up but I thought we saw the game out well and kept the clean sheet which was important and helps to maintain our good defensive record.
“Overall, I thought it was a thoroughly deserved win and another good performance.
“It was nice to see so many people there as well.”
Two-goal Chapman was named man-of-the-match against Kennington and netted another against Bearsted, Tom Chapman scoring Deal’s other goal in midweek.
Speaking on Monday, Hares said: “Ben has played well for most of the season but he had not scored until Saturday.
“He took both of his goals really well. We always knew, with Ben, he would score goals.
"I wouldn’t say he has struggled for goals, he just has not had the chances.
“He is a very important player for us.”
Deal’s reward for brushing aside Kennington, who had defender Harry Stow and goalkeeping coach Dan Cook sent off in the second half, is a home tie in the FA Vase second round against Southern Combination Premier Division leaders Littlehampton Town.
Hares said he knows little about the side, adding: “I’m sure we will do before we play them but the main thing for us was getting a home draw.
“Personally, I would rather play against teams from other leagues as well, so that is good.”
The tie is due to be played on Saturday, November 20, with the winning team collecting £900.
Deal have been drawn away to Erith & Belvedere in the Kent Senior Trophy on November 27.
A minute’s silence was held before Deal’s FA Vase tie against Kennington after the recent deaths of club stalwarts Alan Barrow and Darren Wadhams.
Mr Barrow holds the record for the most Deal appearances with 544, having made his debut in 1979 and playing his final match for the Hoops in the 1996/97 season.
Hares said: “Obviously, it’s sad news for everybody.
“Alan has got the most appearances for Deal so he was a great player but a great person as well.
“It was a sad week for everybody at the club and the town as a whole.”