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Deal Town manager Derek Hares on their FA Vase penalty shoot-out success at Saltdean United

Manager Derek Hares says Deal Town’s FA Vase second-round win at Saltdean is right up there with the best results they’ve had.

The Hoops won 3-2 on penalties - substitute Toby Greenfield with the decisive kick - after a 2-2 draw against the Southern Combination League leaders.

The Deal Town management team of Derek Hares and Steve King Picture: Chris Davey
The Deal Town management team of Derek Hares and Steve King Picture: Chris Davey

Hares felt the odds were stacked against his side going into Saturday's tie but they dug deep and got the job done.

They've been drawn at home to Binfield in the next round on December 19, a side they beat on penalties during last season's run to the last 16.

With Southern Counties East matches suspended until at least Boxing Day, that will be Deal’s next fixture.

“I put that result right up there,” said Hares.

“They’d won nine of their 11 games this season and hadn’t been beaten at home, so it’s a great win.

“They were probably favourites before the game, being at home and looking at their league position.

“We’ve had a three-hour journey there and with everything else going on, I’m sure they thought they had a good chance of winning but we deserved it in the end.

“They’re a good side and it was a good game. They nicked the first half and we nicked the second half.”

George Stannard put Deal in front on the half-hour mark but Saltdean were level before half-time.

Ben Chapman looked to have won it for the Hoops with 10 minutes left, only for the hosts to force penalties with a last-gasp header.

Greenfield added to successful kicks from Jack Paxman and Jack Penney as Deal overcame misses from Chapman and Josh Jackson.

It was a shoot-out to forget for Saltdean, who blazed two efforts high and wide and also hit the post.

Deal beat Binfield on penalties in round four last season but lost an FA Cup shoot-out to Chipstead this season after conceding a late equaliser.

So Hares, who normally can’t bring himself to watch penalties, had no idea which way it was going to go this time.

“We just asked who wanted to take one,” said the manager. “You want someone who wants to take one.

“You don’t want to be saying, ‘You take one’ and then they’re nervous stepping up.

“Sometimes you score, sometime you don't - that’s penalties.

“I don’t normally watch but when we missed our first one I decided to watch the rest and hope it would maybe change our luck. It’s silly, really.

"I’m always nervous but we’ve been through it a few times now.”

Hares was impressed with Deal’s fitness given they’d been out of action for a month due to the second national lockdown, and had trained only once together before the tie.

He said: “I thought the boys looked fit, considering we hadn’t played for such a long time.

"We’re a young side and most of them are naturally fit anyway. Most of them are in their early 20s and they do look after themselves.

"Kingy (Steve King, assistant manager) had also been doing a bit of one-on-one training with some of them in the lockdown when he could.”

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