Whyteleafe FC

Gaffer's Chat with Harry Hudson

Our Emirates FA Cup journey came to an end on Saturday but what a journey it's been. Leafe boss Harry Hudson reflects on the result with Steve Hole and looks forward to the next couple of away league games.

So, Harry, our FA Cup dream was extinguished on Saturday. Heart-breaking stuff BUT we gave a superb account of ourselves, eh? I was very proud of the boys and how we played on Saturday – we stuck to our principles and I do not believe there was a gulf between the two teams. Reflecting now I do feel like we may have missed an opportunity to really put ourselves on the map – in the first thirty minutes, I thought we deserved to go ahead and then I think the game is very different. However, it wasn’t to be and we revert our focus back to the league.  

At times, especially in the first half, we looked like the National League South team. You must be delighted with the way the boys applied themselves?
Yes, I agree we matched them, and for parts of the first half, were on top in the game. Once they scored and then got the second, it was always going to be tough but I still believed we could get back in the tie. The third goal killed us and it probably epitomised the game for us. 

We haven’t cleared our lines well, and they are very good at keeping the ball alive, but even then their player has mishit a shot, which has landed perfectly in the stride of their defender in the box! We didn’t have the run of the ball and it just wasn’t our day. 

I did the match report and decided not to choose a star player as surely the whole team deserved that accolade after that performance?
I fully agree! It would have been impossible to single anyone out – they gave everything on Saturday and I believe everyone could see that.

I hear that Chippenham's officials were very complimentary about our team after the game? Yes, Mark Coote (chairman) and Karen Muir said that their board members were praising our boys, which is lovely to hear. I also had a really good chat with their management team who were really friendly and honest and I wish them all the best in the next round! (since we chatted Chippenham Town have been given a first-round tie at home to Northampton Town of division two).

Great to see such a large crowd too? It was amazing to see! I hope we can get Church Road as close to that atmosphere every week!

No one knows where they’ve come from but how FANTASTIC are The Fanatics? For those that don’t know, Harry’s Leafe has gained a small yet diehard contingent of young fans, complete with a green flag, a little snare drum and a nice line in songs. They are brilliant and let’s hope their numbers grow, eh? A high-pitched rendition of ‘Harry Hudson’s Green and White Army’ positively brings a tear of joy to my eye! They are absolutely top drawer! Long may they continue, and grow in numbers, for years to come! Fantastic bunch of boys for their energy and enthusiasm!

Clive Davis, his staff and volunteers, not to mention the bar staff played a blinder Saturday, didn’t they? 100% - a huge well done and hopefully, we made some decent money, which can keep the club going for the coming years.

Although it would have been great to have reached the first-round proper, a word for our BetVictor Isthmian South East friends, Chichester City, who beat BetVictor premier side Bowers & Pitsea away and have progressed? Phenomenal achievement! They are flying our league flag very high and I wish them all the best
(Since Harry and I chatted, Chichester received a 'bye' straight into the second round of the cup, picking up the first-round prize money in the process!)
Thanks for taking us on our journey in the cup, Harry. Plenty more excitement and fun for the fans to look forward to? We now have to focus on the league and pushing up the table. We have a long season to go seeing as we have only played four league games going into November and if we are to achieve our targets this season we will need all of their support!

We hit the road again for the 75-mile trip to the east Kent coast and Ramsgate on Saturday. They’ve had a poor start that ultimately cost their manager his job, but you won’t be taking them lightly?
No, certainly not and I have personally never won in Ramsgate so I will be looking to change that statistic. After our cup exploits, we are there for teams to have a swipe at us and knock us off our perch. The boys will get a tough test on the road this week, for sure.

Five games in hand in the league. A good or bad thing, Harry?
Only time will tell! If we can get momentum then it will be a good thing and that is what we will be aiming for!

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