Whyteleafe FC

Gaffer's Chat with Harry Hudson

Leafe gaffer Harry Hudson chats with Steve Hole and brings us up to date with current goings-on with the Whyteleafe first team. Also, in a total Twilight Zone moment, they also bumped into each other quite unexpectedly at Euston Station last Friday morning. A total coincidence while scanning the train information boards for their respective platforms. Completely uncanny.

Harry, cold and damp evening at Church Road last Tuesday evening for the clash with local rivals Chipstead in the Velocity Trophy. One for the diehards. A hard-fought 1-1 draw but we ‘won’ an extra point for winning the penalty shoot-out? How did you see the game? I thought we should have gone ahead before they scored, which was an avoidable goal from our part. After they got ahead, to be fair, they could have got a second and Tyler made a great save. Making two enforced changes inside 15 minutes knocked us and we looked toothless in the first half. Once we changed things at half time though, we looked much better and deserved our equaliser and probably to go ahead.  The last 10 minutes was a free-for-all and either team could have won it. I’m pleased with the boys winning the penalty shoot-out though as that shows real character. 

Fantastic to see Antonio Walker-Barth back in the team and also bagging our goal against Chipstead?
It’s brilliant to have Ant back and playing so well - he is like a new signing and I am so proud of the young man that he has come back so strong

Disappointing result away to Hythe on Saturday, Harry. Thoughts on that one? There is no doubt that after 12 minutes if you would have told me we would only have taken a point I would have been extremely disappointed. However, before the game, I would have taken a point as it is not an easy place to go and our away form hasn’t been good so far this season. When a team are down to ten men and are two goals down they can go for it and that is a dangerous opponent to face. Of course, we should have managed the second half much better and everyone was left feeling like it was a loss. I got the tactics wrong in the second half though and take responsibility for that.

We entertain local rivals East Grinstead Town on Saturday (Church Road - 3pm). They’ve not had a good start and are currently propping the division up at the foot of the table? I do not believe there are any easy games in this division and East Grinstead almost have a ‘free hit’ against us so we need to be wary of them. They have also recruited well recently and I am sure they will start to pick up and get out of the relegation places.

We’ll skirt around the Emirates FA Cup first-round game involving our conquerers in the fourth qualifying round, Chippenham Town (they lost at home to Division 2 side, Northampton Town) but what about the amazing performance of BetVictor South-East leaders, Maldon & Tiptree who went down the road to Leyton Orient and beat them 2-1 on Sunday? An astonishing result for them and the BetVictor leagues at our level, given that they are four divisions below The O’s.  Jerome Slew scored a ‘worldy’ running from his own penalty box beating four Orient defenders on the way, before cracking home the winner? It makes our 1-1 draw against them in pre-season look impressive as I think they have won 20 out of 21 competitive games thus far this season? Unreal achievement and a huge well done! Representing the Isthmian league in an incredible fashion

With games coming thick and fast because of us playing catch up we then have another evening game this Tuesday and entertain Ashford United (November 12, Church Road – 7pm). I think you view Ashford as one of the potential league champions.? How do you see this one? Yes, it is another tough game and after Saturday and Tuesday, we will have a good idea of where we are as a group. Ashford are a strong side and Tommy sets his teams up very well - they don’t give you anything ...you have to do well to score against them. Our home form in the league has been excellent, so hopefully, we can continue that. 

What are your thoughts on two, possibly three, games a week? Is it the best form of keeping the lads fit or is a chore?
At the moment, it's good for us as before Hythe, we had won three on the bounce! However, it makes training difficult and that is one of our biggest advantages as a group. So, I will have to sit on the fence with that one!

How’s the injury situation? We are starting to pick up some injuries, which are all related to overuse so we will have to manage the squad carefully in the coming weeks. 

Finally, we’re doing the supporters meeting on Saturday, November 16, in the boardroom straight after the home game against East Grinstead? Yes, please! This is slightly overdue and necessary for myself and Calum to outline our aspirations for the season ahead and the hugely important role the supporters have in helping us reach them! 

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