We had an excellent Vase run last year and I know the boys are keen to try and repeat that this season, says Deal Town coach Steve King

Friday 04th December 2020

DEAL TOWN head coach Steve King says he is looking forward to their FA Vase Second Round tie at Saltdean United tomorrow.

It will be the clubs first outing since their 2-1 defeat at Corinthian on Saturday 31 October, a result that put them in tenth-place in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division table with 16 points from their 11 league games.

Saltdean United are top of the Southern Combination Premier Division table with 26 points from their 11 league outings, have lost just once in the league and are three points clear of Horley Town.

“Really looking forward to getting back out there after having a month off and all of the boys are looking forward to it,” said King.

“It has been far from ideal preparation with us only having three days to prepare but we will travel down to Saltdean and look to give a good account of ourselves.

“I am disappointed that we are expected to play three days out of Lockdown in such a big game but those things are out of our control so we will put that to one side come Saturday afternoon.”

When asked about going through the second national Lockdown, King said: “It has obviously been difficult but football has had to take a backward step. We have had a number of players and their families affected so football has quite rightly not been the number one priority.

“The boys have all been following a fitness plan and have all come back in good condition which is pleasing to see, however, there is nothing like playing 90 minutes so it is going to be tough for all involved.

“The boys have been keen to get back to it so we trained on both Wednesday and Thursday this week so we are hopefully as prepared as possible considering the circumstances.”

The Southern Counties East Football League has been suspended until Saturday 26 December due to the fact that all Kent towns have been placed in Tier Three restrictions by the UK Government, which means Deal’s players can travel down to Brighton to play the game (as it’s classed as work), while fans have been banned from attending, although Deal Town will be streaming the game on its Facebook page.

“I think it is completely the correct decision. Kent has been hit heavily in this tier and people's health must come first,” said Dover resident King.

“It is vital that clubs at our level are able to welcome fans and I fully support the League's decision to suspend fixtures until we are able to welcome supporters back.

“We all love our football and want to get back to normality but need to make sure that this only happens when it is safe to do so.

“To be fair to the League, they have dealt with things quickly and communicating clearly which is appreciated.”

Derek Hares’ side reached the Fifth Round of The FA Vase last season and went out on a bitterly cold day up in the North East, with Consett winning the game 2-0 thanks to two goals inside the final 14 minutes.

“It has not been easy to prepare on Saltdean due to the Lockdown but we are pretty well prepared and are aware of their strengths and weaknesses,” added King.

“They are obviously a very strong side who are currently top of their league so will go in as favourites.

“They have brought a number of players in from the league above and we are well aware of our threats. However, we have shown this season that we can match anyone at this level and go there confident that we can make it difficult for them to progress.

“We had an excellent Vase run last year and I know the boys are keen to try and repeat that this season.”

Visit Deal Town’s website:  www.dealtownfc.co.uk

Saltdean United  v  Deal Town
The Buildbase FA Vase Second Round
Saturday 5 December 2020
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Hill Park, Coombe Vale, Brighton, East Sussex BN2 8HJ