Gaffer's Chat with Harry Hudson
Welcome to this week’s Gaffer’s Chat. As ever, Leafe boss, Harry Hudson brings us up to date with an eventful week’s developments and even mention of a song by Automatic!
Harry, good win last Saturday, away to Sittingbourne. We seemed to dominate the game but just couldn’t find the net until Ryan Gondoh snatched the winner at the death? How did you see that one? We started very well and should have made our early dominance count, but we unfortunately didn’t which always gives teams a chance to lift their performance. The second half was more even but we still created a number of good opportunities and we hit the post after a great run from Ronald. I thought over the 90 minutes we did enough to warrant the three points and I was really pleased with how we adapted to the pitch.
Ryan Gondoh continues to impress. I reckon there’s a definite song for him. I think it was called ‘Monster’ by Automatic? What’s that coming over the hill. Is it a Honda? No, it’s Ryan Gondoh!
Well, it almost rhymes! I think Wigan fans adapted it for Pascal Chimbonda, a good few years ago!Great tune and he will love that! He has been a real breath of fresh air and there is so much more to come from him after he gets a run of games under his belt.
A new signing to tell us about, Andrew Sesay from Three Bridges. Tell us more?
Sesay is a player who we have admired for a long time but only just managed to get him over the line. He is a powerful and direct winger who has an eye for a goal. In our opinion he is one of the best wingers in the league, so it is a great acquisition for us.
Then we come to Tuesday evening’s visit to Brighton to face Whitehawk. Now, we can’t talk about the ins and outs of it too much here BUT have you ever had one of your teams have three players sent off in a match before? Never before and if anyone looks at our disciplinary record we are one of the best in the league. I think the less said the better - anyone who was at the game will know why.
We were very much in the game though and I thought we were looking likely to get something out of the match even though we were a goal down. Your thoughts? In the first half we created three excellent opportunities, which was just missing the finish, hit the bar and should have had a stonewall penalty. Their goal is a bit of magic but that was what we restricted them to. It was interesting because we were more dominant in the first half on Tuesday than the reverse fixture but that day, we went in 2-0 up!
Some of our defending was valiant (like Custer’s Last Stand (Harry you are too young to know about that!) when we were down to eight men wasn’t it? It must make you and Calum proud when a team of yours defends like that.I thought the boys were outstanding in the face of such adversity. Playing up the hill at Whitehawk for 35minutes with nine (before the third sending off) men is a ridiculously difficult task but the boys not only didn’t concede but still managed to carry a threat – I couldn’t have been prouder of the group.
Although we lost the game, the response of the Leafe fans (a bunch of supporters had made the Tuesday night trip to the south coast to support Harry, Calum and the lads) at the final whistle must have been great to hear? Heartwarming stuff. It really was because it vindicated all the hard work the boys put in. To have their support and encourage was so important. A massive thank you to our fans!
We’ve said it before, and it must be said again, big respect to the Whitehawk fans too. A lot of their supporters joined in with the standing ovation at the end. Yes it really is a very nice club. They play the right way and are a friendly bunch. We were talking to their bench and they were as bemused as us at what was happening. Their players at the end were also very complimentary about our team and commented that it was a shame the game was ruined.
Big game on Saturday (February 1 – 3pm) when we welcome Cray Valley PM to Church Road. Their form had dipped slightly in recent weeks, but they had a 5-0 win on Tuesday evening against VCD? Yes they have had two huge wins recently after a poor period of form. Both teams will know how massive the game is on Saturday but we are back at Church Road and we will be taking the positives from Tuesday and pushing hard for the three points.