Cray Valley’s FA Cup adventure was finally ended following a 6-1 first-round replay defeat by League One Charlton at the Artic Stadium.
Having come from behind to force a replay in a 1-1 draw at the Valley 11 days earlier, the Isthmian League South East Division side were dreaming again late in the first half when Kyrell Lisbie cancelled out an Alfie May goal with a 44th-minute penalty.
That renewed hope was snuffed out when Charlton scored three goals in the opening 13 minutes of the second half.
The effervescent May, who played non-league football himself until the age of 23, scored a dazzling solo effort to add to a Miles Leaburn header before George Dobson drove a majestic 20-yard shot into the top corner.
Two Charlton substitutes completed the scoring in the final 13 minutes. Tyreece Campbell side-footed home a Dobson pass before Micah Mbick steered in a rebound.
Despite the heavy defeat, Cray Valley estimate that they have generated around £200,000 from their cup run, which started in August and took in five qualifying rounds before this first round proper tie.
The catalyst for Charlton’s victory was May, whose pace, urgency and hunger befitted a player with such deep non-league roots.
He had already fired off six shots by the time he gave Charlton a 35th-minute lead, controlling a Lucas Ness long ball sublimely on the outside of his right foot before adding a delightful dinked lob over Cray Valley keeper Sam Freeman.
The non-league side equalised when Lisbie was felled by Charlton keeper Sam Walker and then converted his spot-kick to the joy of the Cray Valley fans as well as his father Kevin, who played for both clubs and who was watching on from the nearby TV gantry.
That was before Charlton assumed total control in the second half to set up a second-round tie along the A2 at League Two side Gillingham.