Harvest Home renew rivalries with FC Strawberry in delayed Hampshire Trophy final at Front Lawn
Harvest Home boss Ray Ogilvie is bidding to complete a county double in the delayed Hampshire Trophy final.
Harvest take on former Mid-Solent League rivals FC Strawberry at Front Lawn (8.15pm) on Tuesday in a final held over from 2019/20.
Ogilvie won a Hampshire Sunday Cup when he was manager of Portsmouth League club Co-op Dragons in 2017, and now wants some Saturday silverware as well.
But he knows Strawberry will be hugely fired up.
Harvest will start as favourites having won promotion to the Hampshire League since the two teams last met in the Len Day Cup earlier this year.
‘The pressure is even more on us to win now,’ said Ogilvie. ‘We’re playing in a higher standard now and have upped our work ethos as a result.
‘Strawberry are going to want to beat us more than ever.
‘This is our most important game of the season, I’m not taking them lightly at all.
‘This could be the only chance we get to lift some silverware for some time.’
Harvest defeated Strawberry three times in 2019/20 - in the season-opening Billy Hill Cup final, in the league and in the Len Day Cup.
They were the only three defeats Strawberry suffered all campaign.
Harvest are the holders, having won the tournament in 2018/19 when it was known as the Hampshire Junior Cup.
Both teams enter the final in good form.
Harvest ended Andover New Street Swifts’ unbeaten start to the HPL Division 1 season with a 4-1 victory at the weekend.
They were 3-0 up inside the opening half-hour against a Swifts side that had ended leaders Moneyfields’ 100 per cent start to 2020/21 the previous weekend.
Jake Daniels (2) and Nathan Newer were on target with sub Harry Byrne completing the scoring late on.
Strawberry didn’t play at the weekend but have won their last two Mid-Solent matches 2-0 against Wymering and 8-2 against Carberry.
Harvest are unbeaten since a 3-0 loss to Denmead in their opening game.
‘This league isn’t the league people think it is,’ said Ogilvie. ‘It’s a fantastic league to be in.
‘Everyone tries to play football and there’s young, hungry players who are the future.
‘You can’t under-estimate any side. I over-estimated my squad’s fitness levels and determination early on, but we’ve moved on now.
‘At this level you need to make a few sacrifices and some of my players didn’t want to do that.
‘But I’ve no bad feelings with anyone who’s left us - they are all a part of what we’ve created, and I won’t forget that.’