Going into the season our aspirations were to stay up based on our financial restraints but our aspirations is to keep going and be as close to the play-offs as we possibly can and have a good go, says Whyteleafe boss Harry Hudson
WHYTELEAFE manager Harry Hudson says his club have suffered a turbulent period over the past couple of weeks.
The Leafe became the first side to take points off Bostik South East Division leaders Cray Wanderers after coming away from Hayes Lane with a 1-1 draw in a very entertaining game between two passing sides last night.
Bentley Graham drilled in a free-kick to give Hudson’s side a fifth minute lead but Whyteleafe’s lead lasted only 109 seconds later when Jerome Federico drilled in a rebound after Archie Johnson’s low drive was parried into his path by goalkeeper Tyler McCarthy.
Cray Wanderers remain unbeaten at the summit of the Bostik South East Division table, having collected 19 points from their seven games.
Hastings United are in second-place on 15 points but with a game in hand, while VCD Athletic moved into third on 15 points after coming away from Princes Park with a 2-1 win over bottom-of-the-table side Thamesmead Town last night.
Whyteleafe are in fourth-place on 13 points from their opening six league outings and Hythe Town follow on the same number of points but with a game in hand.
“We’ve had a really, really turbulent last 10 days,” said Hudson.
“Going back to getting called off at Egham away in the Cup on a Tuesday night for floodlight failure is crazy, it’s unfortunate.”
A disciplinary meeting at The Football Association reached the decision that Whyteleafe played Adekunle Odutolu illegally in the FA Cup match on 4th September 2018 and in the league match against Guernsey in the first league match of the season.
A club statement, which was published on their website said: “The club were found guilty of this charge, despite the evidence which clearly stated the player was checked under the name Adekunle Odutolu and not under the previously unknown name of Taiwo Odutolu which he had obtained the suspension from.
“The FA Cup Second Qualifying Round match against St Albans was cancelled and Whyteleafe have been removed from the competition. Any deduction of points from the Bostik South East division will be decided upon by the Bostik League.
“As far as the FA Cup competition currently stands, Corinthian-Casuals will be reinstated and will play St Albans on Monday 1st October, subject to any appeal.
“The club is fully intending to appeal against this decision which they feel is totally unjustified and the appeal will take place.”
Hudson said last night: “We then had the debacle of The FA Cup, getting a game called off on a Friday, you can imagine what that could do for the morale for the boys and the group, even the staff and the fans.
“We’ve got the hearing on Friday, which I’m going to go to and to then have to play the league leaders away on a Wednesday night, that’s not preparation anyone would want.
“I cannot praise the players enough with how they’ve responded because it will be very easy to feel sorry for ourselves and the players have been unbelievable and I can’t praise them enough.”
Hudson, who was in charge of Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division side Croydon last season, received plenty of plaudits during his one season in charge at the Arena for his eye-catching passing style of play.
Hudson wants to guide Whyteleafe into the play-offs this season, one level higher than The Trams.
“Going into the season our aspirations were to stay up based on our financial restraints but our aspirations is to keep going and be as close to the play-offs as we possibly can and have a good go,” said Hudson.
“So far so god, baring a slip up at Sittingbourne when we were absolutely nowhere near our level.”
Whyteleafe host Essex side Bowers & Pitsea at Church Road on Saturday in The Buildbase FA Trophy Extra Preliminary Round.
Their opponents are unbeaten in the top five in the Bostik North Division table with three wins and three draws from their opening six league games.
Visit Whyteleafe’s website: www.theleafe.co.uk
Whyteleafe v Bowers & Pitsea
The Buildbase FA Trophy Extra Preliminary Round
Saturday 29 September 2018
Kick Off 3:00pm
at 15 Church Road, Whyteleafe, Surrey CR3 0AR