The Hoops again had to give “second best” to a team from a higher league in their latest pre-season friendly on Saturday.
Opponents Sevenoaks finished 10th in the Bostik Isthmian League South East last season and look capable of improving on that position in the forthcoming campaign after producing some sharp attacking football against a Deal squad featuring several trialists, writes Kevin Redsull.
Micky Collins’ side were especially dangerous down the left flank and their opening goal after 24 minutes stemmed from that route when Frankie Sawyer drove home Connor French’s near-post cross.
Nine minutes later French himself made it 2-0 with a side-foot finish that again gave Hoops ‘keeper Owen Kallmeier, deputising for the unavailable James Tonkin, no chance.
With striker Sam Wilson also missing because of injury, Deal created little attacking threat of their own in the first half apart from one typical Ben Cardwell run which set up a shooting opportunity for Jack Penny, the Hoops’ new signing from Ramsgate.
Two other former Rams players, Nick Treadwell and Luke Wheatley, were among the Deal trialists and the Hoops management team made a further eight substitutions on the hour mark including bringing on Harry Alexander and Troy Howard, whose pace started to cause Sevenoaks some problems of their own down the flanks.
But it was the ‘Oaks who completed the scoring 11 minutes from time through Ainsley Everett although Deal midfielder Billy Munday was denied by the outstretched leg of the ‘Oaks keeper in the dying stages.
Next-up for the Hoops is a tricky looking match at Margate on Tuesday night.