Both teams came into this fixture on the back of 4-2 wins over Step 4 opposition last week; The Reds at Pagham, against Chichester and The Hawks at Bedfont Sports.
On an overcast and occasionally drizzly afternoon it was the Premier Division side – starting each half with two different line-ups – who offered the opening glimpses of goal, with two driving runs into the penalty area from Marvin Armstrong and Ollie Pearce respectively seeing an off balance blast over, followed by a dragged attempt well wide, inside the opening ten minutes.
Pearce featured again a short while later when his free-kick was punched away not once but twice by goalkeeper, James Broadbent before the attack finally came to an end with our man in red finding the Clubhouse roof.
Midway through the first period and Whitehawk, in their change strip of all blue, made a rare foray towards Rui Buckland’s net. Although his services weren’t required as a stretching header from Harry Shooman, to get on the end of Dave Martin’s right wing set-piece travelled safely over the target.
Back up the other end and Tom Chalaye pounced on a loose ball in the eighteen-yard box and Pearce’s low effort only narrowly evaded the back stick.
The car park became an increasingly popular destination, with Armstrong the latest player to pick it out after an incisive break initially promised more.
Former Worthing midfielder, Rhyle Ovenden gave Rui some catching practice, with an ultimately tame header from Martin’s most recent dead-ball delivery and our Ollie came closer to setting off a vehicle’s alarm after otherwise combining impressively with Chalaye, once more.
Stoppage time saw the West Sussex “visitors,” at last, break the deadlock as Armstrong beat his man in the box and drilled into the opposite bottom corner, despite Broadbent getting a hand to it.
It was all change at the start of the second-half and, again, The Reds were quickest out of the blocks. An entirely new team ran out and Ricky Aguiar put his free-kick just the wrong side of the crossbar, two minutes in.
Set-pieces seemed to be the order of the day and another one, this time via the boot of half-time sub, Marvin Hamilton saw fellow replacement, Lucas Rodrigues get in it’s way while Martin could only find the side netting with his latest effort, around the hour mark.
A rare flowing move resulted in Danny Barker sending Kieron Pamment scampering clear down the right flank and his low delivery into the danger zone was dummied by trialist, Mo Jannah and swept home by youth team alumni, Read.
That goal came against the run of play as The Blues had dominated possession without managing to disturb Buckland from his siesta.
However, Rodrigues was always a real threat and he fired a low attempt across the target but past the far upright, too.
Three minutes from time, Hawks pulled one back through their “substitute trialist” as he made his way along the byline where Joel Colbran stopped him in his tracks, illegally. Earning himself a booking and his opponent a penalty. Number 16 dusted himself down and dispatched the spot-kick which Buckland got his right hand too but couldn’t quite prevent from sneaking inside the post.
Rui then made his only save of the afternoon from Demas Ramsis. The youngster climbing off the bench to sting the palms of the underemployed glovesman, as his shot arrowed towards the near stick.
The last chance of the contest fell to the men from the West of the County, as Pamment pulled his effort wide from twenty yards out in the inside-right channel.
Match Report: Gareth Nicholas