U18 Whitehawk 2 Lewes 3
N’Cho 10′, 33′ Tanev 49′
Match report by George Bryant-Nichols
A chilly January night saw the Young Hawks host Lewes at the Terrapura, with Del Tobias’ side looking to record a first win in 2022. An late injury to keeper Elliott Dailly meant leading scorer Toby Reeder volunteering to take the gloves in goal.
Whitehawk got off to a dream start, with Sam N’Cho gratefully receiving the ball from Luke O’Neil, finishing with aplomb to place the ball past the Lewes goalkeeper Fin Jenkins. Whitehawk 1, Lewes 0.
The Young Hawks really rose to the challenge, defending resolutely as well as providing further attacking opportunities in an attempt to double their advantage. The Whitehawk back line broke up Lewes attacks with great aptitude, only rarely allowing their forwards to get in behind.
Whitehawk’s next major opportunity was a long range free kick that was denied only by the slightest of touches by Lewes goalkeeper – Jenkins pushing the ball onto the bar to deny Gilbert. Just 9 minutes later, Whitehawk struck once more, with O’Neil getting past defenders once more to put the ball on a plate for N’Cho to claim a brace. Whitehawk 2, Lewes 0.
The Young Hawks were certainly the happier side of the two at the break, leading by two goals to nil at the halfway mark.
It would be safe to say that Whitehawk’s momentum was interrupted quite early on in the second half, with Tanev taking a speculative shot from the edge of the box and stand-in Toby Reeder not being able to do much about it, as the ball trickled into the back of the net off his gloves. Game on at the Terrapura with 49 minutes gone, Whitehawk 2, Lewes 1.
The whole momentum of the game seemed to shift in the way of the visitors, with Lewes having a big opportunity to restore parity, but the opportunity was squandered with the Lewes striker scuffing his shot – easy for Toby Reeder to keep out.
Just two minutes later, Lewes broke Whitehawk hearts with a Margeson finish coming off a long ball, with the goalscorer receiving the ball in behind the Hawks’ defence – lifting his finish above Reeder to make the scoreline Whitehawk 2, Lewes 2.
A proper game of two halves, Lewes continued to mount pressure on the Young Hawks, with the Lewes attacker shooting wide from 10 yards out with 67 minutes played.
While Whitehawk battled and battled to preserve a single point, Lewes completed the comeback with a goal in the 6th minute of stoppage time – breaking Whitehawk hearts once more, with a driven finish by Rooks’ skipper Alfie Mitchell beating Reeder at his near post to steal all three points for the visitors.
Whitehawk will battle on, and will look to have a positive February, with Monday fixtures for the next three weeks in a row – first of which will be against Eastbourne Borough at the Terrapura, kicking off at 19:45 on Monday 7thof February. The Young Hawks remain 8th in the table, albeit with two games in hand on seventh placed Horsham YMCA.