Obviously, on the pitch it has been frustrating to lose another season to Covid but we are pleased to have a chance to complete our Vase campaign, says Deal Town coach Steve King
DEAL TOWN head coach Steve King says his side are ready for their much-delayed FA Vase Third Round tie against Binfield tomorrow.
The two sides will meet in a behind-closed-doors clash on the Kent coast after locking horns twice in the Fourth Round last season.
A 1-1 draw was followed by a 3-3 thriller in Berkshire and James Tonkin’s heroics during the penalty shoot-out ensured it was Derek Hares’ men that progressed through to the Fourth Round.
Deal Town went out to two late goals in a 2-0 defeat at Northern League side Consett on Saturday 8 February 2020.
This will be the third attempt at playing this tie as Covid-19 restrictions put paid to chances of these sides meeting twice in December but King insists his players are as prepared as they can be without any competitive football in their tanks.
“It has been a strange preparation but we have managed to complete four sessions and played an inter-squad game last Saturday to give ourselves the best chance to be prepared,” said King.
“It has been a preparation like no other but the boys have come back looking fit and all-ready to go.
“Obviously, we know Binfield well from last year. They are a quality side at this level and if it wasn’t for Covid-19 interrupting the last two seasons, I have no doubt they would have been promoted.
“Both sides have similar sides to last season so we know plenty about each other.”
Binfield go into the game as favourites as they were sitting in second-place in the Hellenic League Premier Division table at the time of the abandonment of the season due to the health pandemic.
Jointly-managed by Jamie McClurg and Carl Withers, they were a point behind leaders Flackwell Heath in the table, a side that ended the Vase hopes of Stansfeld in the Second Round before pulling of a major shock by beating Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division leaders Chatham Town a week later.
Sean Moore has scored 10 goals for the Moles this season, while Ben Cardwell, Troy Howard, Macauley Murray and Ben Chapman each have scored three times for tenth-placed Deal Town.
This will be Deal’s first fixture since coming home from Saltdean United with a penalty shoot-out success (3-2) after playing out a 2-2 draw in The FA Vase Second Round on 5 December 2020.
Binfield also needed penalties (4-1) to come away from Newhaven after a 2-2 draw on the same day and neither side has played a competitive fixture since then.
“The club is well run and the directors do a great job in running the club. Like all clubs we have been impacted financially but we are still in a good place going forward and are looking forward to the future,” revealed King.
“Obviously, on the pitch it has been frustrating to lose another season to Covid but we are pleased to have a chance to complete our Vase campaign.
“We would have loved to have a crowd in but things are as they are. It is pleasing to be able to stream the game on Facebook so hopefully a number of our fans will be able to watch the game.
“It will be a strange experience playing behind closed doors at home as we usually get good crowds but we play plenty of games at this level in front of small crowds away from home so it won’t be too strange an experience.
“With no extra-time and replays this year it is a genuine possibility that it could go to penalties. If it does then I know James Tonkin will fancy it and we would go in confident.
“We will have to see what happens but I’m sure there will be plenty of drama over the 90 minutes.”
The winners will travel to Norfolk to play Eastern Counties League First Division leaders Fakenham Town in the last 32 of the competition next Saturday, 17 April 2021.
That game will also be played behind closed doors as spectators are banned from attending football matches until 17 May 2021.
Visit Deal Town’s website: www.dealtownfc.co.uk
Deal Town v Binfield
The Buildbase FA Vase Third Round
Saturday 10 April 2021
Kick Off 3:00pm
at The Charles Sports Ground, St Leonards Road, Deal, Kent CT14 9AU