Gaffer's Chat with Harry Hudson
Here is the latest GAFFER’S CHAT, where Leafe boss Harry Hudson brings us his news and views and as usual is refreshingly and brutally honest thoughts. Harry, although we lost the match, the performance against league leaders Hastings United last Saturday, you must be delighted with the way the team played? You were missing some key players through injury but for the last ten minutes Hastings were literally hanging on such was the pressure they were under. The drama was palpable when Peter Wedgeworth’s last kick of the game free kick thudded against the Hastings crossbar! Hastings are a very good side and I believe they will win the league this season, but last Saturday we more than matched them. We performed well and the boys implemented our initial game plan very well as well as adapting to a different structure in the second half. In my opinion we deserved at least a point from the game and created more than enough chances to warrant a goal. There Is a reason why Hastings have conceded so few goals this year though – you have to do very well to create opportunities against them and on the day we didn’t take ours.
The much-delayed Surrey Senior Cup tie against Lingfield took place the week before. An exciting 5-3 win. How did you see that one? We were very comfortable in the first half and dominated the game exactly how I would have hoped – although we only scored two goals I was pleased. The second half was a totally different performance though and we stopped moving the ball and the game became a basketball match. I didn’t enjoy the second half or our performance level. We did manage to get more minutes for players returning from injury and for some of the younger academy players.
In the second round of the Surrey Senior Cup, we are off to face Combined Counties League Premier side, Badshot Lea, based just outside Farnham at the Krooner Park stadium! What do you know about them? Quite honestly, Steve, very little! Our game is scheduled for February so we will complete our due diligence nearer the time.
Back to Isthmian League business last Saturday and the trip across south London to VCD. That was a hard day at the office, Harry. How did you view the match? I was really disappointed with our performance against VCD, to be honest. Apart from Ramsgate away, it was our lowest level shown this season. We deserved something from the Hastings game but we did not warrant anything from the VCD match. It is very frustrating as we work on certain things in what we would like to think is a good level of detail but when we just don’t want to run, tackle and compete as much as the opposition all that work becomes redundant. We had some choice words at half time and we improved slightly in the second half but we were still miles off our level. Onto Whitehawk Saturday where we expect a reaction.
Yes, talking of Whitehawk. They were relegated from the Isthmian Premier last season and after a slow start they are flying in our league, now. On paper it should be a cracking game? We are very much looking forward to the fixture – I have heard good things about Whitehawk and the way in which they try to play football. They are in exceptional form right now and seem to be the only team who can catch Hastings so it will be a tough match, but we back ourselves against anyone at Church Road. One thing is certain though is that is we perform like we did against VCD we will get nothing from the game so we need to react well to the disappoint of last Saturday and deliver a vastly improved performance four ourselves and the Leafe fans.
What’s the situation with the walking wounded?
We are getting there slowly but surely – touch wood! Peter ‘Wedge’ Wedgeworth and Jordan ‘Clarkey’ Clarke came through last Saturday and Tuesday without any re-occurrences and Nathan Campbell and Corey Holder should be back training soon. Freddie Parker is still a couple weeks away, though.
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