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Deal Town manager Steve King says opening-day win over Glebe has put down early marker

Boss Steve King believes Deal’s opening-day win has put down an early marker.

The Hoops came from behind to earn a 3-1 success at the Charles Sports Ground on Saturday, with last season’s fourth-placed Southern Counties East Premier Division outfit getting the better of Glebe, who finished third.

Deal Town manager Steve King. Picture: Paul Willmott
Deal Town manager Steve King. Picture: Paul Willmott

Midfielder Alfie Foster equalised before a stunning effort from striker Connor Coyne put Deal ahead, with midfielder Ben Chapman also netting.

King said: “It’s only one game and there’s a lot to go! But as I’ve said previously, it was a game everyone was going to look at the result of.

“I think it set a bit of a marker but it’s only one game.

"Glebe are a good side and will be up there, and some of the other fancied sides who will be up there won as well. But let’s be honest, it was a game we wanted to win.”

Player-of-the-match Coyne’s effort was the pick of the Deal goals.

“Euan Sahadow had only been on literally a minute and he slotted Connor through. He was about 25 yards out and rocked it into the corner,” King explained.

“We know Connor has that in his locker and it was a great strike from him.”

The match also saw defender Kane Smith make his 150th club appearance.

He said: “We have built a loyal squad and the boys have stayed together. Consequently, they have played a lot of games for the club.

“Kane actually has been waiting for that since he did his knee. We discussed playing him the last game of last season but we didn’t.

Deal striker Connor Coyne in action. Picture: Paul Willmott
Deal striker Connor Coyne in action. Picture: Paul Willmott

“Alfie Foster, I think with 147, will probably be the next one.

"It’s nice and good recognition for the players.”

Defender Sam Taylor has joined, and was named on the bench against Glebe, after impressing in pre-season.

“He has come to us from Minster out of the Kent County League. He’s, primarily, a full-back but he’s quite versatile,” King said.

“He’s one I think is going to get better and better.

"It’s a big step up but he has done well in pre-season.

“We think he’s someone who is going to play a key role as we go on this season.”

This weekend Deal will host Egham in the FA Cup extra preliminary round, with the victors facing Whitstable or Three Bridges. The winner will earn £1,125 in prize money.

King said: “We have done as much work as we can do at the minute. It’s been quite hard because a lot of our pre-season games have clashed.

“They came third in the Combined Counties North, which is the same level as us, last season. I expect it to be a really difficult match - similar to the game against Glebe.

“But we are at home and will be looking for a good result. I’m sure they are looking at it as a difficult game as well.

“There’s a good reward for the winners because Whitstable would be a local derby for us - or it will be Three Bridges, the league above. The pressure would be off a bit going away there.

“So there’s a good carrot but we know it’s not going to be easy at all. I expect we will get another good crowd.

“As a club, we want to put our name on the map. For all clubs at our level, if you get into the second qualifying round, you have a chance to pull a National South side out the hat.

“The prize money is important. We are not reliant on it, some clubs might be, but that certainly doesn’t mean we don’t want to pick it up.”

On the injury front, meanwhile, the Hoops have had mixed news.

Midfielder Billy Munday has been cleared to play - although will need to improve his fitness first having missed pre-season - but striker Ben Cardwell will not be in action for the foreseeable future after an injury sustained in their 6-2 loss to Charlton under-23s.

King conceded: “He has just come back from the same injury on the other knee. Unfortunately that’s a bad one.

“We are really disappointed for him, but he is still only early-mid 20s.

“We will support him in his recovery but it’s a really disappointing one because he would have been a key player for us this year.”

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