Sittingbourne should win the game being a higher league side but we enjoy playing in the cups and we won't roll over, says Deal Town coach Steve King

Tuesday 08th September 2020

DEAL TOWN coach Steve King says Sittingbourne are the favourites going into their FA Cup Preliminary Round clash on Saturday.

The Hoops go into the game on the back of playing three games. They kicked-off their campaign seven days ago in the Extra Preliminary Round by beating Knaphill 4-0 away from home and opened their Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division campaign with a 2-0 home defeat to Beckenham Town at the weekend.

Last night goals from Troy Howard (free-kick) and Billy Munday’s second-half header sealed a comfortable 2-0 win at K Sports.

Sittingbourne haven't kicked off their Isthmian League South East Division campaign, they do that on Saturday 19 September at home to Whitstable Town and it will be Darren Blackburn’s first game in charge of the club.

Blackburn was appointed Sittingbourne’s new manager in March, having been promoted as manager after Chris Lynch’s departure at Woodstock Park but the club haven’t played since then due to the coronavirus health pandemic.

Blackburn faces a tricky trip to the Kent coast and King says his side are relishing a chance of an upset.

“They’re massive favourites aren’t they? Let’s be honest,” said King.

“Darren’s just gone in there, I know him from when he was with Hollands & Blair, a really nice bloke and I’m sure he’ll do a good job.

“If you look at the calibre of players they’ve signed, your Ryan Palmer’s, Kane Rowland, for me all of the pressure is on them.

“We had to go and have our first game at Knaphill away and we won that. They should win the game being an Isthmian South East side, good location but we enjoy playing in the cups. We showed that in the Vase last year and we won’t roll over.”

Deal Town are looking to attract a maximum crowd of 300 – crowds are restricted currently due to Government and FA restrictions – for the visit of Sittingbourne.

King said: “I’d imagine we’ll have 300 there on Saturday, our maximum capacity. Ticket sales are going well so I’d imagine it will sell out so financially it’s a really important game but also it’s The FA Cup – players absolutely love it!

“We want to see how far we can go. It’s a home draw, we’re up against it but I think the pressures on them to be honest.

“A higher league team should come and beat us.”

When asked what we can expect from Deal Town in the league this season, King replied: “It’s a great question because I don’t know how strong the league is going to stay during the season but you look at it at the minute if we were top eight at the moment (Deal were in tenth-place after last night’s game), we’ll be very happy.

“But the one thing we’ve got in February we’ve got stability so you’ll see this squad playing for us in February and you’ll see it in March.

“Now, looking at the strength of the league at the minute, it looks unbelievably strong.  Our job, like it always is, we’ll keep plugging away and compete every single game, pick up as many games, ideally we want to get into the top six.”

King and manager Derek Hares guided the club to the last 16 of The FA Vase last season when they went down 2-0 at Northern League side Consett on 8 February.

Consett reached the Wembley Stadium Final on Sunday 27 September and shall meet their North Eastern rivals Hebburn Town, who beat Corinthian 4-3 on penalties after Saturday’s game finished 2-2 after extra time at Gay Dawn Farm.

Three of the four goals were scored from penalties and Corinthian’s Jack Bath and Louie Clarke both missed from the spot during the nine penalties shoot-out.

“I think we’ve proved getting into the last 16 of the Vase last season and beating some good sides on our day,” said King.

“You were at Consett, let’s be honest they were the better side but we were 0-0 after 75 minutes and they’ve gone on and got to Wembley on Saturday.

“We want to aim for the top six but we’ve got to be realistic as well. We’ll take every game as it comes, we try to win every one and we’ll see what happens around us and we’ll see what other squads look like in January and then you never know.”

Visit Deal Town’s website:

Deal Town  v  Sittingbourne
The Emirates FA Cup Preliminary Round
Saturday 12 September 2020
Kick Off 3:00pm
at The Charles Sports Ground, St Leonards Road, Deal, Kent CT14 9AU


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