Gaffer's Chat with Harry HudsonSTEVE HOLE sits down with Leafe boss Harry Hudson to round the last couple of weeks and talks friendlies and cup games.
Harry we’re into the thick of the action now and even though the Pitching In Isthmian South East campaign doesn’t get underway until next Saturday (away to Herne Bay) you are about to start your second FA Cup match of the new season on Saturday! First though, can we look back at the Glebe game, when we went off to their smart little ground in Chislehurst for an Extra Preliminary Round match. I know you felt it would be a tough encounter, although in the end it was a fairly academic victory. What were your thoughts on it?
I thought it was a very professional performance from the boys. I felt we were in control of the game from the start and apart from their set plays we controlled them well.
Their forward line is the envy of teams in our league but we marshalled them very well and defended well as a team. Our forwards will cause any teams problems and in the end, it could have been more comfortable than the scoreline suggested.
Then, on Tuesday of this week, we entertained Leatherhead FC at Church Road. You thrive on pitting your wits against Isthmian Premier sides I think?
Leatherhead are going for promotion in step 3 and it was always going to be a good test. However, for 45mins it was an even game and we matched them which was pleasing to see. I made 10 changes in the second half and we lost shape so Leatherhead took control but I was pleased with us on the evening.
How did you see that game and the final result?
We eventually lost 4-3 after being in the lead twice - our first loss in six games but the manner of the performance was pleasing.
Moving on to this coming Saturday (September 12) we welcome step five side Bearsted FC of the SCEFL Premier Division (Church Road - 3pm). We weren’t supposed to be playing them though as they were beaten 5-3 by Peacehaven & Telscombe in their Extra Prelim encounter. What happened there? Why the reprieve?
Peacehaven were removed for playing an ineligible player so Bearsted it is. They have consistently punched above their weight in step 5 and I have a lot of respect for them. They will be a well-organised side and we will need to be at our level for a positive result on Saturday.
Regardless of all that. You never take a lower level team for granted do you? They’ll be dangerous, right?
Complacency must be avoided at all costs - we will be favourite for the tie no doubt but we have to stay focussed and approach the game properly.
I hear that young Courtney Clarke (our exciting seventeen year old, midfielder) has been on trial with Norwich City this week? Great opportunity for the lad? He’ll be back for Saturday though?
Yes, he will be back Saturday for the game and by all accounts, he is doing well at Norwich. They are a top Category 1 academy so for CJ it is a big test but one that we know he has the ability to excel in.
Any other new signings or injuries to report? Will Mannie Mensah be fit for Saturday? How about Andrew Sesay and his injuries?
Mannie and Ric (Thompson) will start training next week which is great news for the whole club. Sesay had an operation on his thumb and he will be a few more weeks yet.