Harper lauds his makeshift Beavers after south coast trouncing
9:58am Friday 22nd March 2013 in Sport
By James Hepworth
Hampton & Richmond boss Mark Harper lavished praise on his players after a make-shift Beavers side thumped Bognor Regis Town on the south coast.
Ryan Moss was the star of Tuesday’s show, hitting a 15-minute hat-trick in the 5-0 trouncing of the Rocks – an own goal and a Clayton Murray strike sealed the remarkable scoreline.
The win opened up a five-point gap in the Ryman Premier League between the Beavers, in 14th, and Enfield, in 15th, although the north London side have two games in hand.
Injuries and suspensions forced Harper into playing Alan Bray, Joe Turner and Tony Taggart out of position, while he also called up reserves Murray and Matt Reece.
Regular striker Charlie Moone sat on the bench due to a stomach upset, and a lack of match fitness kept midfielder Darren Powell out of the squad.
Harper said: “Although we went into the game with a multitude of injuries and suspensions, the players that I chose from our youth set-up, including George Wells and Jacob Peace, were able to make the difference.
“From the start, the difference was recognisable, there was so much energy and tempo in our play and I believe this contributed to our ability to turn our chances into goals.”
The Beavers face second-placed Wealdstone at home on Saturday with Harper admitting no one’s place in the team is safe after his makeshift side’s stellar performance.
He said: “We have a lot of depth in our squad and the ability of our youth and fringe players to step up to the mark only makes us stronger.”
It was all a far cry from last Saturday’s 5-3 defeat at Lowestoft, and has led Harper to rekindle his hopes of a top-five finish.
He said: “I am not writing us off completely, it’s a very long shot, but we will take each game as it comes.
“The result shows that we have the capability to beat anyone in this league.”