Match report by George Bryant-Nichols
A warm but stormy night on the 1st of September saw Whitehawk’s under 18s take on Lewes in the preliminary round of the FA Youth Cup at the Dripping Pan, home of the Rooks.
A fresh Whitehawk side came out looking for a cup run, but almost found themselves in trouble after just a minute, with a wayward pass sparking Lewes’ first attack in which the ball eventually found itself flying over the upright.
The Rooks continued to put pressure on the Young Hawks’ defence in the early stages, albeit with their strikes not troubling Elliott Dailly between the sticks.
The Young Hawks had a chance of their own with just over 20 minutes gone, with a well worked corner routine almost paying dividends – with James Lyon-Monk firing his shot wide.
Lewes continued to pile on the pressure however, with a series of corners providing dangerous opportunities for the Rooks to get into the lead. The rhythm was broken up by Whitehawk counters and spells of possession on multiple occasions, but eventually the pressure told after 28 minutes, as Finley Agnihotri’s shot from miles out seared into the top right corner with Dailly rooted to the spot, to put the Rooks a goal up. The goalscorer finished off the move with a jubilant knee slide. Lewes 1, Whitehawk 0.
Not long afterwards, Lewes had the opportunity to double their lead, but were denied by a good stop from Dailly – keeping out a close range shot after a slick attacking move from the Rooks.
The Young Hawks continued to fight for an equaliser, but the scoreline remained unchanged at half time, with Lewes leading Whitehawk by a single goal.
Whitehawk came out for the second half positively, with an early foray forward cut out by Lewes’ ‘keeper despite a strong shot across the goal from Ben Matthews.
Neither side were able to find a way through the back line of the other for most of the second half, with half chances for both teams as the second period progressed.
The Rooks finally made life more comfortable for themselves two minutes from time, with a corner to the back post allowing the ball to be headed back across goal, where Fraser Middleton-Tozer was first to meet the ball – heading past Dailly to give Lewes a second. A well worked set piece sequence that paid off for the team in red.
Hawks then had a Toby Reeder header narrowly ruled out for offside.
Lewes effectively finished the game as a contest in the 90th minute, with a swift attack produced from a long ball from inside the Rooks’ own half – Harry Bridle expertly converted the chance to put Lewes three goals to the good.
The match finished 3-0 to Lewes at full time, with the Young Hawks bowing out of the FA Youth Cup at the hands of a strong Lewes side who played well despite Whitehawk resistance. Next up, the Young Hawks are back on the road up to Horsham on Tuesday 6th of September.
Hawks: Dailly, Williamson, Lyon-Monk, Breed, Martin (c), Godfrey, De Ponte Silva (Weber 61’), Matthews (Donovan 83’), Reeder, J Nandhra, N’Cho
Subs not used: Fogden, K Nandhra, Jones