Boss Ogilvie ‘very excited’ as Mid-Solent League champions Harvest Home are accepted into the Hampshire Premier League

Harvest Home will be testing themselves at Hampshire Premier League level when the 2020/21 season kicks off.

Sunday, 14th June 2020, 6:58 pm
Updated Sunday, 14th June 2020, 6:59 pm
Harvest Home celebrate one of their 115 goals in just 21 league and cup games in 2019/20. Picture: Keith Woodland

The reigning Mid-Solent League champions were today officially accepted into the HPL Division 1.

‘It’s a relief to get it finally confirmed,’ said boss Ray Ogilvie.

‘We’d told the Mid-Solent League we were leaving, so we’d put all our eggs in one basket.

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‘At least it means we’ll still have a team next season!’

Harvest should be a worthwhile addition to the HPL.

They won every single game they played in 2019/20 and were chasing an unprecedented FIVE trophies when the season was halted.

They began 2019/20 by beating FC Strawberry 1-0 to lift the Billy Hill Cup.

They went on to win all 13 of their league games, scoring 75 goals and conceding just four.

In addition, they had reached the final of the Hampshire Vase - they were due to face Strawberry in a mouthwatering showpiece occasion - and had reached the last four of the Len Day and the Father Purcell Cups.

The record books will show Harvest played 23 games in all competitions last season, and they won the lot - scoring 115 goals and conceding just 10.

They actually scored those goals in 21 matches, though, as two opposing teams couldn’t raise a side.

Harvest won through one round of the Vase after Ventnor Reserves failed to travel to the mainland, while Segensworth failed to raise a team for a league game.

Harvest and Strawberry were locked together on 39 points when the season was halted, with the former having just a plus two better goal difference but boasting a game in hand.

When the season was declared over, it was brought to a close by the league declaring all remaining games 0-0 - ensuring Harvest completed a hat-trick of league titles by a one-point margin.

Nathan Newer was top scorer with 29 goals across all competitions, followed by Zach McGregor (18), Jake Daniels (15) and Mitch Frost (10).

Harry Byrne, who had scored 16 goals for Meon Milton, was signed in the new year and struck twice for his new side before the pandemic took its stranglehold on worldwide sporting action.

‘I’m very excited now. We’re going into that league to challenge, I want to try and win the league next season.

‘I’m looking forward to playing clubs like Moneyfields and Denmead, I have a lot of respect for those clubs.

‘I’m also hoping the cups will be played - it would be great to test ourselves against someone like Infinity, Paulsgrove or Fleetlands.

‘I’m looking forward be playing different teams, to coming up against different managers and different tactics.

‘It will give us a bit more professionalism as well.’

Clarendon - from north of Salisbury - and Silchester Village - from just outside Basingstoke - have also been accepted into the Hampshire League.

That means Division 1 will have 15 clubs in 2020/21 and 28 league games each - compared to just 12 and 22 respectively last season.

The second tier only had eight clubs in 2018/19 and, with Hedge End withdrawing, have now welcomed eight new clubs in two years.

Last summer Moneyfields Reserves, Denmead, Andover New Street Swifts, Kingsclere and Broughton were all accepted into the league.

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Clanfield received a double cash boost at the HPL’s AGM.

They were awarded £100 for coming top of the table in the referees’ report forms for respect and hospitality.

The club won a similar amount for finishing second in the Fair Play awards league.

Second tier Kingsclere finished top (winning £125) and divisional rivals Upham (£50) were third.

Cash prizes were also handed out to the top three teams in the 2019/20 Division 1.

Champions Moneyfields won £150 for taking the title on a points-per-game basis - the clubs and league officials deciding that is how they wanted the season brought to a close.

They were able to do that as the second tier is at step 8 in the pyramid, and the FA only null and voided steps 3-7.

Denmead, who finished runners-up in their first season of Saturday football, won £100 and third-placed Andover New Street Swifts banked £50.

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Denmead, meanwhile, could still have a glamour tie against Moneyfields to look forward to.

The Portsmouth FA have revealed they still plan to complete the 2019/20 cup competitions in pre-season if and when the government declare it safe to do so.

Denmead were due to host holders Moneyfields at Locks Heath in the quarter-final of the Portsmouth Senior Cup. The winners were due to face Fareham.

Horndean and Baffins Milton are due to meet in the other semi-final.

In the Portsmouth Women’s Senior Cup, Portsmouth Women are due to face city rivals Moneyfields Women.