Cray Valley PM’s F.A. Cup run came to an end in a replay against Charlton Athletic.

They have had an incredible run including a draw at the Valley and they were even level in the replay before Charlton’s class told in the second period.

Some of the Addicks players might not have fancied playing in a small ground with spectators in touching distance but it would not have bothered their leading scorer, Alfie May. His career included spells at local clubs VCD Athletic and Erith and Belvedere.

He showed his intent early on with a shot that Sam Freeman got down well to save. Charlton goalkeeper, Sam Walker, also had an early taste of the action when saving from Arthur Lee, the Millers’ captain.

Nathan Asimwe had a shot beaten out by Freeman before May was back in the thick of things. George Dobson created an opening for him. His first shot was blocked out by Freeman and his follow up smashed into the side netting.

Barney Williams hooked a Lucas Ness header off the line before Charlton went ahead. Ness sent a long ball forward and May did superbly to bring it down. His second touch got it out from under his feet, and his third one was a clever flick to lift it past Freeman and into the net.

When the Addicks went ahead in the original tie, they were expected to kick on but they found a team who would not lie down, and they were brought back for a replay. They were again stunned in Eltham when Cray equalised in the final minute of the first half.

Kyrell Lisbie flicked it past Walker and, as he entered the penalty area, he was taken out by the high boot of Walker. The referee pointed to the spot and showed the Charlton keeper leniency by only brandishing a yellow card. Lisbie took the responsibility himself, and sent Walker the wrong way to level.

Words may have been said at half time as the visitors came out in a determined mood and scored twice in the first six minutes. Excellent wing play by Asimwe put it in the danger area and Miles Leaburn’s powerful header gave Freeman no chance. Scott Fraser then sent May clear and he went round Freeman before slotting home from an impossible angle.

Seven minutes later, Charlton added a fourth when the outstanding Dobson let fly from twenty five yards with a shot that dipped and swerved before finding the top corner.

Each manager made substitutions and the game became scrappy as the players coming on tried to find the rhythm of the game, and there wasn’t another clear cut chance until Charlton scored again with thirteen minutes remaining. Conor McGrandles found time in the penalty area to square and he picked out Tyreece Campbell who swept it home from fifteen yards.

Charlton made it six, four minutes from time. Dobson sent it forward and Fraser got in behind. He tried to flick it beyond Freeman but the goalkeeper stuck out an arm to keep it out. It was to no avail though, as substitute Mikel Mbick was on hand to roll home his first goal for Charlton.

Despite the scoreline, the Millers will be happy to have got to the first round, to have earned a replay from their match at the Valley, and to have hosted a new record gate at the Arctic Stadium. Charlton will look back knowing that they were in a battle, but can now prepare for a second round tie at Gillingham.

Cray Valley PM: Freeman, Williams, Asiedu (Chambers 68), Lee, Tumkaya, Ibrahiym (Oshilaja 63), Ademiluyi (Gayle 59), Black, Parker, Vigor (Anau 59), Lisbie (Ekpiteta 68). Unused subs: Ovenden, Coombes, Gilchrist, Turner.

Charlton Athletic: Walker, Jones, Edun (T. Watson 69), McGrandles (Mbick 82), Ness, Dobson, Asimwe, Leaburn (Kedwell 82), May (C. Campbell 82), Fraser, Blackett-Taylor (T. Cambell 46). Subs not used: Molneux, L. Watson, Tedic, Bower.