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Lewes FC under 18s

Lewes triumph to lift Youth Cup after drama of shootout

Lewes 1-1 Whitehawk (AET: 2-2 Pens: 4-2)

Lewes lifted the Sussex Bluefin Dennis Probee Youth Cup (under-18s) after an enthralling encounter against Whitehawk which saw them triumph 4-2 on penalties following a 2-2 draw after extra time.

It didn’t take long for the scoring to be opened; Lewes’ Alfie Headland capitalised and tapped in from close range after Whitehawk goalkeeper Rudy Stilgoe spilled the ball from a free-kick with just nine minutes gone.

Whitehawk responded quickly and their first notable opportunity presented itself ten minutes later when James Waters set up his team mate Joel Daly to strike at goal, but his effort was dealt with by Dane Tasker who collected comfortably.

Whitehawk pilled on the pressure in search of an equaliser, forcing Tasker to make a number of vital saves to keep his team’s one goal cushion intact.

Robert Deda went close for Whitehawk twice on the stroke of the half-time mark, he fired low and hard from distance which forced Tasker to make a fine save and the rebound made its way back to him, but he could only bend his shot narrowly wide.

The second-half continued in a similar manner, with Whitehawk on the front foot and hungry for an equaliser but still unable to convert their opportunities.

With a quarter of the match remaining, Whitehawk came close to levelling as Daly weaved in and out dodging opponents before slotting the ball through to Leon Moore, but the strikers’ effort was smothered quickly but Tasker as dashed off his line to collect the ball.

Whitehawk left it late but did managed to find the equaliser and in dramatic fashion. Inside two minutes of added time Fintan Walsh launched a long throw into the box that was flicked on to Waters who finished with an impressive overhead kick six-yards out that flew past Tasker and into the top corner, sparking wild celebrations.

The momentum continued for Whitehawk in extra-time and Jude MacDonald’s side took the lead for the first time after Waters long ball over the top set Daly free and he kept his composure and placed the ball under Tasker from a tight angle.

It was now Lewes’ turn to search for an equaliser and in the latter stages of extra-time they found it. The ball fell kindly to Josh Gould inside the area at the far post and he coolly curled the ball on the volley around Stilgoe and in off the inside of the post.

With extra-time could unable to separate the two talented under-18 sides in a fantastic end-to-end encounter, a penalty shootout was required to find a winner at Culver Road.

Tasker proved to be the hero for Lewes in the shootout as he saved two consecutive penalties leaving his teammate Leone Gravata to tuck away his spot kick and clinch the silverware for Lewes for the fifth time in their history.

HIGHLIGHTS - Lewes vs. Whitehawk
Watch highlights of Lewes' enthralling encounter against Whitehawk which saw them triumph 4-2 on penalties following a 2-2 draw after extra time.

(A selection of photographs can be found on Facebook - courtesy of Simon Roe Photography)
(Video highlights are available above and also on YouTube - courtesy of FilmMyMatch)

Stats: (Lewes-Whitehawk)
Goals: 2-2; Shots: 12-14; Shots-on-target: 6-8; Corners: 4-4; Fouls: 13-12; Offside: 2-1; Yellow cards: 3-2; Red cards: 0-0.

Lewes: Tasker, Gravata, Parker, McCarthy ©, Allen, Headland, Gifford, Barclay, Magrath, Aguair, Gould.
Subs: Di Lucia, Hall, Hutchingson, Jenkins, Carter.

Whitehawk: Stilgoe, Bukleb, Broughton, Malila, Walsh ©, Addy, Daly, Deda, Waters, Moore, Cooklin.
Subs: O'Shaughnessy, Shaw, Bull, Bond, Greenslate.

Match report by Natalie Clarke