Hampton's cup glory can wait
A Middlesex Senior Cup final will be just another big game to add to the list for Hampton & Richmond Borough this season and manager Mark Harper would trade that in to ensure league survival.
The Beavers went 2-0 up against Hendon in the semi-finals on Tuesday through Esmond James and Joel Ledgister within 11 minutes.
But it took a last-minute goal from cup hero Dave Tarpey to seal the game 3-2 in the home side’s favour.
Borough have been struggling in Blue Square South this season and have not picked up a league win since beating Staines Town 4-1 on New Year’s Day, which has left them languishing in the relegation zone.
Harper highlighted consistency as the key problem and is hoping to build up a run of form when his side host Truro this weekend.
“I would trade everything to make sure that we stay up this year,” said Harper.
“Truro is a massive game for us on Saturday and they are struggling a bit at the moment.
“They have had their troubles through the year and, as a squad, they are looking a bit depleted.
“Whoever I put in the side could potentially do a job for me. It is just making sure that all 11 players who play on the day get up for it.
“It is 13 cup finals, 14 if you include the actual cup final, which the guys have to perform for. I am not even talking about what league we can drop into.
“I am one of the few people who have not mentioned the ‘R’ word, and I am not going to until it is mathematically impossible. Our league status is down to us and nobody else.”
The Beavers do have games in hand, both against high-flying Dover Athletic, and they will be hoping top scorer Tarpey can transfer his scintillating cup goal scoring form into the league.
“It is a funny league because anybody is capable of beating anybody and it is all about who is up for it on the day,” added Harper.
“We have had a discussion with Dave and when it comes to cup competitions he is on fire.
“He is a good lad who believes in his own ability, but unfortunately for us the cup competitions have been his competitions this year.
“But you can take nothing away from the kid, he is always going to score.”
Tuesday’s win came at a price with Ledgister likely to miss this weekend's clash having picked up a knock. Harper’s men will be looking to put Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Chelmsford City behind them when the men from Cornwall arrive.