Published: 07:37, 12 February 2020
| Updated: 07:37, 12 February 2020
Deal boss Derek Hares is proud of his players following their FA Vase exploits this season.
Town’s fine run ended in the last 16 on Saturday when two late goals saw County Durham outfit Consett claim a 2-0 victory.
The Northern League club are the new favourites to win the Vase after seeing off a Hoops side who gave everything.
Hares said: “I’m disappointed with the result but not the performance because I don’t think we could have played much better.
“It looked like it had 0-0 written all over it but they got a lucky break with the first goal where the guy’s kicked it into the ground and it’s looped up and gone in.
“The first goal was always going to be the one that decided it – the second one’s immaterial – but I’m proud of the players because they gave everything they had and the support we had up there was amazing.
“It’s such a long way but we must have had 150 people up there, which is more than we were getting for home games a couple of years ago.
“If we’d played poorly or lost to a side we felt we should have beaten I might feel different but we’ve lost to a very good side who are now favourites to win the Vase.
“The run’s been great for us because there’s a lot of interest around the club at the moment and I’ve said for a long time there’s a lot of good things going on behind the scenes.
“That’s reflected in what we’ve done on the pitch – the two go together.”
Deal return to action with a Challenge Cup quarter-final at lower-league Kennington on Wednesday. It’s a tie that means a lot to the Hoops.
Hares said: “I don’t think there will be any problems getting the players up for the game after Saturday.
“It’s a very important game for us because if we get through we’re in the semi-finals and we’d love to get to the final.
“I feel we deserve to win something for what we’ve achieved this season and there’s still a lot of league games to play as well.”
Deal’s next Southern Counties East match sees Erith Town visit the Charles Ground this Saturday.
The game will kick-off at 2.15pm after one of the floodlights was damaged in last weekend’s storm.
Ben Cardwell (hamstring) and Macauley Murray (thigh) are ruled out while Lee Scott, who did such a good job man-marking Consett’s playmaker Luke Carr before going off with an ankle injury, could be a doubt.
Hares said: “We’ve still got 16 league games to play. We’re 12th and we’ve got six games in hand on K Sports, the team immediately above us.
“We’re playing catch-up but that’s what happens when you go on cup runs.”
More by this authorCraig Tucker