This was the opening weekend for the Southern Counties East Football League and what better game to see than the two sides who came third and fourth last year, behind the promoted runaway leaders Sheppey United and Chatham Town. The Charles Sports ground is welcoming, has plenty of free car parking spaces and decent facilities, making it a great venue to watch football.
Since last season, Steve King has stepped up as the new manager at Deal Town, replacing his previous long serving boss, Derek Hares. This would also reflect the first outing for some new additions to the squad, with last season’s talented forward Troy Howard having departed to play this season at Isthmian League, Margate FC.
Glebe Fc have also seen some turbulence over the close season. The departure of popular ex manager Harry Hudson to Sevenoaks FC last summer caused the break up of the existing Glebe squad. New manager and ex Chatham star, Luke Rooney, has put together his own team whilst hanging onto the classy goal scoring talents of Jamie Philpott and defensive attributes of Tom Hever from last season . Today would provide a stern challenge in judging how successfully the new squad have bedded in. Rocky McMillan the Chairman at Glebe, has been very upfront about wanting to see his side gain promotion this season.
The game opened with both sides testing each other. While no clear cut chances were forged in the opening half hour, there were clear passages of play when both teams controlled the ball.
On 36 minutes, Deal’s Tom Chapman missed when through one on one with Oliver Pain in the Glebe goal. This feat was repeated minutes later by his opposite number 7, Jack Pilbeam for Glebe, when he was robbed by a late tackle, as he closed in to shoot from close range.
On the stroke of half time, Glebe won a free kick on the left and James Dyer tapped a pass to the boss, Luke Rooney, who crossed it with a wicked swerve, which saw it fly into the Deal Town goal and put the visitors 0-1 up.
The second half started evenly with both sides pushing to break the deadlock again, then on 54 minutes, Deal Town scored a headed goal from Alfie Foster to send the crowd of 362 fans wild!
The goal of the game came in the 64th minute when a 20 yard Connor Coyne finish took Pain, the Glebe keeper, by surprise, to send Deal Town into the lead for the first time.
In the 67th minute Deal Town put the game beyond doubt and went 3-1 up with a fine finish from Ben Chapman after some penalty area “Head Tennis”.
At the final whistle while Glebe’s manager, Luke Rooney, went away disappointed, with the 3-1 defeat, he would know that this will be a long season. With the talent in his squad and a little more time to gel, there will be better days to come. Deal Town will have left delighted today, as their team spirit, passing play and finishing was of a standard which will test the best sides in the SCEFL league.