Hampton's Harper happy with squad as great escape take shape

Your Local Guardian: Suspended in time: Hampton's Dave Tarpey Suspended in time: Hampton's Dave Tarpey

Hampton & Richmond Borough boss Mark Harper will resist temptation and stick by his in-form squad for the Blue Square South run-in.

Beavers chairman Steve McPherson revealed last week that he would loosen the purse strings to secure safety this term.

Hotshot striker Dave Tarpey will miss the next three games through suspension, while on-loan Reece Jones could return to parent club AFC Wimbledon at any moment, with the League Two outfit almost assured of safety themselves.

But the Beveree manager has told his boss to save his cash after watching his men secure back-to-back wins against Weston-Super-Mare and Dover Athletic this week.

“The transfer window closed last week, so the only people I can get in now will be on-loan,” said Harper, pictured right.

“Realistically, I’ll only be able to get someone who is young, expensive and someone who I know little about.

“It is not worth the risk or the money.

“Dave is suspended now and if Reece goes back to AFC Wimbledon when they are safe, we can cope with it.

“I’ve told players like Karle Andrews and Esmond James, who are itching to have a go, that they need to keep on their toes because their chance will come.”

Tarpey and Jones struck to give Hampton a 2-1 win at Weston on Saturday and the former repeated the trick as he tapped home the winner in Tuesday’s 1-0 triumph at Dover Athletic.

The Beavers remain in the bottom three on goal difference and have a game in hand on the team above them, Havant & Waterlooville.

“There are managers above us under more pressure than me,” added Harper ahead of Saturday’s visit of Sutton United.

“We have some very tough games to come, but I would like to think we would be safe if we get to 42 points.

“I think 44 points is the target so we need nine points from our final eight games, but each one of those is massive, so we have to take it one game at a time.

“Destiny is in our own hands now.”

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