Whitehawk 2-1 VCD Athletic
The Hawks could have led after just 4 minutes after a goalmouth scramble saw Marvin Hamilton have a shot at point blank range saved by Tony Coxhall in the Vickers goal. A few minutes later Hamilton prevented VCD from scoring themselves, heading an Alastair Gordon shot behind for a corner. The Hawks took the lead on the 16th minute with another defender, Brighton and Hove Albion loanee Kacper Lopata rising brilliantly to head in a well taken corner by captain Henry Muggeridge. The Hawks had an opportunity to double their lead 7 minutes later as they were awarded a penalty after Lucas Rodrigues was brought down inside the box, however David Martin saw his strike hit the post and bounce wide for a goal kick.
Not long after that, the Vickers could have tied the game up if it wasn’t for James Broadbent making a terrific save to deny a VCD attacker, pushing it behind for a corner which ultimately came to nothing. The Hawks doubled their lead after 30 minutes with Muggeridge turning from provider to scorer following a brilliant break after a great save by Broadbent saw the Hawks play up field to Duane Ofori-Acheampong, who sent up the captain to make it 2-0 with a great strike. The 2-goal cushion lasted just 90 seconds however with the Hawks defence failing to deal with last seasons Isthmian South East top scorer Charlie Macdonald, who slotted home to make it 2-1. VCD were then awarded a chance to equalise just 4 minutes later after Lopata brought down Macdonald inside the penalty area. Macdonald stepped up and although his initial attempt was saved, he tapped in the rebound to complete a 4-minute comeback to make it 2-2.
Just 6 minutes into the second half, the Hawks could have retaken the lead as Lucas Rodrigues did brilliantly on the near side to beat the VCD defence to tee up an incoming Henry Muggeridge, but he was unable to find the back of the net. Not long later, Duane Ofori-Acheampong had a chance to get on the scoresheet, but his curling effort went agonisingly wide of the far post. The Hawks dominated through the half with plenty of chances, just not quite hitting the target, but that changed after 78 minutes after Fintan Walsh hit a well-timed cross into the box towards Lucas Rodrigues who wasn’t able to connect to the ball, though behind him was Ofori-Acheampong who smashed home for a 3-2 lead. Controversy followed 5 minutes from time as Charlie Macdonald, on a hat-trick, rapidly broke up the pitch and when attempting to round Broadbent in the Hawks’ goal, appeared to go down under contact from the ‘keeper but fortunately for the Hawks the referee, to the surprise of most in the ground, gave nothing. The game from then onwards faded away and the Hawks were able to see out what was a well-deserved victory.
Hawks: Broadbent, Walsh, Banya, Emberson, Lopata, Hamilton, Rodrigues (Tighe 87’), Kissock, Ofori-Acheampong, Muggeridge (c), Martin (Rogers 79’)
Subs Not Used: Robinson, Blencowe, Waters
Vickers: Coxhall, Simms, Brown, Roberts, Eweka, Mahal, Gaggin (Toluwanile 9’[Steventon 74’]), Gordon, Odusanya (Lyoubi 88’), Macdonald (c), Ogboe
Subs Not Used: Rosenfield, Vincent-Edwards
Goals: Lopata 16’, Muggeridge 30’, Ofori-Acheampong 78’ (Whitehawk), Macdonald 32’, 36’ (VCD)
Yellow Cards: Lopata, Rodrigues, Tighe (Whitehawk); Roberts, Mahal, Eweka (VCD)
Man of the Match: Duane Ofori-Acheampong