For my second game of the day, I came to the London Hire Stadium, to see a Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division fixture. The game pitched Sutton Athletic, currently in tenth position in the league, against Deal Town sitting in fifth position.
Sutton Athletic’s goals have been flowing this season, with Arlie Desanges top scoring, with eight goals thus far, supported by Conor Evans with six goals. Manager, Dan Kelly, has been determined for his side to secure their place in the Premier Division this season, after beating Larkfield & New Hythe in the Division 1 play-off final, back in the summer. Defence seemed to be more their area of weakness and today’s opponents would be a real test of this.
Deal Town have found goals slightly harder to pick off, but Ben Chapman has already clocked up seven goals in this season, which has seen the club make a big effort to move forward again on the pitch, as the club tries to gain promotion out of the SCEFL. Managwr Steve King entered today’s match knowing how important the result would be to their side’s chances of progressing into a promotion place in such a competitive league. Defensively Deal have been strong, however some big games have been lost, undoing the good work achieved in other games.
The game started with some excitement, when Sutton Athletic went ahead through an own goal as an error forced the ball past in the Deal Town goal to put the home side 1-0 up on seven minutes.
In the 20th minute, Deal Town were able to level the scores, when Tom Chapman fired home, to tie up the game at 1-1.
Despite some good pressure from both sides the teams went in at half time on a wet day, with the scores level at 1-1.
Deal came out renewed and put Sutton Athletic’s defence under some extended pressure. In the 55th minute, Ben Chapman fired Deal Town ahead 1-2, after being set up by Tom Chapman.
In the 66th minute Tom Chapman scored his second after a series of attacks on the Sutton Athletic goal, to put Deal Town two goals clear, at 1-3.
Despite heavy Sutton Athletic pressure in the final 15 minutes, Deal Town defended well to ensure at full time they won with their two goal advantage intact. The points sent them back into the promotion race, at the top of the SCEFL Premier Division but for Sutton Athletic there will need to be something more needed, if they are to secure a top half finish this season.