Ferrell: Hampton can't leave safety to the final day

Ferrell: Hampton can't leave safety to the final day

Off colour: Sharp shooter Dave Tarpey missed a couple of gilt-edged chances on Tuesday night

Call to arms: Lewis Ferrell has made more than 40 appearances for Hampton this term and has taken on the captain's armband in Matt Ruby's injury absence

First published in Hampton & Richmond Your Local Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Sports editor

Skipper Lewis Ferrell has warned Hampton & Richmond Borough team-mates they have two games to save their season because he does not want Blue Square South safety left to be secured on the season’s final day.

Back-to-back defeats at Eastbourne Borough and at home to Salisbury City mean the Beavers are still locked in the drop zone with three games remaining.

Hampton followed Saturday’s 2-0 defeat on the south coast by crashing 2-1 against City at the Beveree on Tuesday to end a run that had seen them collect 11 points from six league games prior to the weekend.

Boss Mark Harper’s men host promotion chasing Welling United on Saturday and former Brentford trainee Ferrell has insisted the battle for survival must get back on track sooner rather than later.

“I think we’ve lost something likes three games in our last 15, so that shows what we are capable of. But we’ve let it slip,” he said.

“We do better at the bigger teams to be fair, so it is a massive game for us. It is the be all and end all of our season.

“We’ve got to pick up three points regardless of whether the game is ugly or pretty.

“On Tuesday, we let ourselves down, the management down and the fans down. If we had won the pressure would have been off us, but it is back on now.

“We’ve got to go in to the last three games like we have nothing to lose. We’ve got two home games and hopefully that will work in our favour.

“We need six points from three games to stay up and we don’t want to leave it to the last game.

“It is all in our hands.”

Soft goals at the end of the first half on Tuesday meant Dean Inman’s late strike - via a speculative overhead kick – was too late to inspire Hampton to a share of the spoils.

Resources are stretched with Paul Johnson, Joel Ledgister, Charlie Moone and Matt Ruby’s continued absence through injury, while Billy Jefferies is a doubt for the weekend after suffering a blow to the head against Salisbury.

The striker shortage could see defender Darren Powell continue to fill the void up front on Saturday - as he did on Tuesday.

And Hampton’s Harper admitted his men needed to upset the form book to avoid the drama of a final day relegation scrap.

“We’ve always known we needed two wins and I had hoped we’d get something out of our last two games,” he added.

“I’m looking at Welling on Saturday and Basingstoke Town on Tuesday and thinking they are games we potentially won’t get anything from.

“The lads may prove me wrong. I get points where I don’t expect them. We’ll pick ourselves up, prepare properly for Saturday and go from there.”

Meanwhile, Inman’s sending off for two bookable offences in the defeat at Eastbourne means he misses the final day trip to bottom-club Thurrock

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