Alfie May hailed a professional performance from Charlton Athletic as his brace helped them ease to a 6-1 win over Cray Valley PM in their FA Cup first round replay.
The Addicks made no mistake at the second attempt against their Isthmian League South East Division opponents.
But there was one big decision that potentially could have swayed the contest more – with Charlton keeper Sam Walker shown a yellow card for a foul on Kyrell Lisbie. Replays showed that the challenge was outside the area, which likely would have seen a red brandished, but instead referee Charles Breakspear awarded a penalty.
Although Lisbie stepped up to level for the part-timers and wipe out Alfie May’s opening goal, the Addicks’ 11 men proved too strong in an utterly dominant second half display.
Miles Leaburn headed them back in front from Nathan Asiimwe’s cross in the 49th minute and May then raced on to Scott Fraser’s pass to take his goal tally for the campaign to 14.
The pick of Charlton’s goals came in the 59th minute as George Dobson sent a left-footed strike from distance past Cray’s keeper Sam Freeman.
Substitute Tyreece Campbell made it 5-1 on 77 minutes and then 17-year-old debutant Micah Mbick, who had only just been introduced to the action, reacted quickest when Scott Fraser’s initial attempt was parried by Freeman.
May told BBC’s MOTD: “We were very professional tonight. It was a little bit different to The Valley but we came here to do a job and get out of here in the next round. That was the important thing to do.”
Asked what head coach Michael Appleton said to his players with the tie in the balance at half-time, May added: “He just told us to stay calm and that there was a lot of minutes (to play). He said we had been really good in the first half. Okay, the ball looks outside the box when Sam gives the penalty away but it’s the FA Cup isn’t it? Anything can happen. Credit goes to Cray. We had to stay professional.”
May produced excellent movement for his first goal in the 35th minute, arcing his run to stay onside. He took a touch to bring Lucas Ness’ long pass under control before dinking past Freeman.
“I’m a player who wants to be facing goal,” he said. “I want defenders facing their own goal as well. It’s crazy that I did that finish in training yesterday. It has come off today – it shows the practise you do in training can help you on matchdays.
“The second one I didn’t hit sweet but it gradually goes in.
“I feel really fit this year. We know football can be a tough game but I love running. I try and get it into my head that they are going to be tired in the second half and I need that second wind – I need to step it up.
“I want to keep running around, chasing balls down and scoring goals – best feeling ever.
Charlton face Gillingham in round two of the competition but May is hoping for a Premier League giant if they do progress.
“A couple of years ago I had Man City but I’m a Liverpool fan,” he said. “Anfield would be amazing.”
PICTURES: KYLE ANDREWS
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