The great Roy Castle (kids ask your parents!!) once sang that dedication is what you need, well there is no more show of dedication for Tunbridge Wells fans than a 2 hour journey away trip to Deal.
Deal, as they sometimes mention, are the only Kent team to win the FA Vase, unfortunately for them they never really kicked on from that and find themselves near the bottom of the SCEFL. But despite their lowly posistion, The Fivers (not sure why, maybe the number of fingers they wished they had ) is always a tricky team to play away.
After a car journey which seemed to last for generations, with a stopover at Fussell mansions in picturesque Brook, we rocked up at the Charles Sports Ground.
Last season's corresponding fixture was played on a school night, and Martin and the boys were overwhelmed with the turnout from the faithful, but despite this being a proper Saturday match, the turnout was even more impressive as fans came by fun bus and car. One notable absentee exception was West Stand who was celebrating his 40th birthday back in the Royal Borough.
The Charles Sports Ground is very compact, surrounded by houses, some with conservatories which are in constant danger from the home attack. but they have a pleasant clubhouse with friendly staff who provide welcome food for the supporters after the game.
With next weeks Vase game on the horizon, Larkin started with Cass and Booth up front, with cup tied Morrissey look-a-like Seenan on the bench.
From the kickoff the match was affected by the bumpy pitch, but we were thankful that there was a game at all considering the recent weather. Radders and Powell especially found it difficult to get a decent cross in from the flanks early on but the Wells controlled the early stages with Deal hitting on the break.
Midway through the first half The Wells made the breakthrough, with a great cross from the right by Booth and a free header clinically dispatched by Cass.
On 35mins Deal were awarded a penalty when a clash of legs occured and the ref pointed to the spot. Now we have all seen penalties missed watching football live or on TV, but I can honestly say I doubt anyone present has seen a penalty not only miss the target, but also miss a whole row of houses and not to mention the international space station overhead, it was truly that shocking.
This should have proved a spark for the Wells, but Deal instead scored shortly afterwards and we went into half time at 1-1.
Usually at half time we stay where we are, but the Deal keeper loved us so much we decided to de-camp to the other end on JP's advice to give the keeper more encouragement, Wells style !! Unfortunately we forgot that a mini hurricane was blowing and without protection of a roof, we spent the next 45 mins shivering and cursing the move and wondering who might have to collect the flags from the channel !!
Fortunately the players warmed us up by producing 3 goals of excellent quality. Firstly straight after half time Paul Booth was played through by Franco and slotted the ball into the back of the net, then 10 minutes later Fuller spanked a first time shot from 20yds past the hapless Seal keeper.
Deal then got one back after an initial shot hit the woodwork, and was rifled in from close range.
But with 7 minutes left, Fuller was played through and buried his shot via the keepers fingertips and the post. Deal finished the game with 10 men after a second yellow.
So a pleasant journey home via Fussell mansions ended a very successful worthwhile trip to the Kent coast. A nice rehearsal for an equally long trip inland next saturday, where Highworth Town will be the next town to feel the full force of The Wells.
Its Vase time again.....!!!!
A little note for the Deal Keeper, our job as supporters is to support our team, there are many ways of doing this and one of them is to have some banter (see below) with the opposition and in doing so try and possibly gain an advantage for our team. We are not an offensive club, you will not hear us swear or say anything personally offensive, unless your mum is actually on the phone. After matches we usually have a drink with the people we have had banter with and everyone goes home and no offence caused. Unfortunately some people bite, and the way you bit just before that penalty miss, made you look a right Charlie. Although this week, we are all Charlie.
Je Suis Charlie
the playful and friendly exchange of teasing remarks.
"there was much good-natured banter"
repartee, raillery, ripostes, sallies, swordplay, quips, wisecracks, crosstalk, wordplay;More
exchange remarks in a good-humoured teasing way.
"the men bantered with the waitresses"
joke, jest, pun, sally, quip; More