A brave effort from Jude MacDonald’s Whitehawk Under 18 team wasn’t enough to cause an upset away at Charlton Athletic in the FA Youth Cup.
Playing in the First Round for the first time in the club’s history, the Hawks can leave with their heads held high despite the 4-1 scoreline against the Addicks.
The hosts started on the front foot against the young Hawks, with Alfie Doughty forcing Gregor Shaw into a smart save before Anesu Sisimayi headed wide of the far post at the other end.
Charlton then went ahead in the eleventh minute. Albie Morgan played a great ball over the Hawks defence to pick out Doughty, and from a tight angle he volleyed beyond Shaw and into the far corner.
The Addicks then went close to doubling their lead as Brendan Sarpong-Wiredu headed a corner just past the far post before Jude MacDonald’s side tested their higher league opponents with some set-pieces, but were unable to break them down.
And the hosts went 2-0 to the good just after the half hour mark as Doughty headed home a rebound from close range after Shaw produced a good save to deny Alex Willis.
Rob Deda then picked out Joel Daly on the right as the Hawks looked for a response, but he sliced his effort wide of the near post.
Deda then went even closer, if not deliberately, just before the break with a free-kick that came back off the bar and was eventually cleared as the Hawks looked to get back into the tie.
Shaw, having picked up an injury late in the first half, continued to his credit, and defied the odds to save when Kareem Isiaka ran through one on one, but he couldn’t prevent the Hawks from going three goals down after six second half minutes.
Morgan took the ball from the centre-circle after his pass was intercepted, and he took the ball all the way and fired the ball low past the hobbling keeper.
The Hawks then got their reward for their persistence 54 minutes in. Lewis Broughton swung in a corner from the right and picked out an unmarked Sisimayi who headed into the far corner from six yards.
Charlton should have then regained their three goal lead, as Isiaka squared the ball across to Willis but he headed against the bar and over from point blank range.
Set-pieces continued to bring the Hawks joy, though, as Broughton’s delivery this time picked out Daniel Addy, but his header was straight at Ed Harvey.
However, Charlton went 4-1 up with just over 25 minutes to go when Morgan’s through ball played in Isiaka, and one on one fired past the injured keeper.
Shaw then made way for the Hawks after a brave effort in goal, to be replaced by usual winger Joe Bull.
The Hawks then had a great chance to get back into the game again with ten minutes to go as Deda played a great ball through to Robert Malila who had ran from defence, but his effort was saved by the advancing Harvey.
Charlton: Harvey, Birch, Zemura, Sarpong-Wiredu, Pollard, Nwosu, Sarmiento (Isiaka 45), Dempsey ©, Willis, Morgan (Powell 76), Doughty (Gody 72). Subs not used: Osaghae (GK), Kirunda.
Hawks: Shaw (Bull 71), Walsh ©, Broughton, Bond (Langan 62), Malila, Addy, Daly, Deda, Waters (Cooklin 80), Rogers, Sisimayi. Subs not used: Bukleb, O’Shaughnessy.