Harrow Borough boss disappointed Middlesex charity cup final will be played during pre-season
PUBLISHED: 12:45 29 April 2015 | UPDATED: 12:45 29 April 2015
Harrow Borough captain Marc Charles-Smith scored the only goal of the game against Leatherhead to secure their Ryman League status on Saturday.
But on the back of their celebrations Steve Baker’s team were dealt a blow when it was revealed they will have to wait until the start of next season to play their Middlesex Charity Cup final.
The final was scheduled to take place on Monday May 4, but the Middlesex FA have postponed it as Enfield Town are currently caught up in a ongoing issue with the FA regarding midfielder Aryan Tajbakhsh, who played in the competition when he should have been suspended.
If Enfield lose their case, which will be heard today (Thursday), Harrow would most likely play a rearranged final against whoever wins a new semi-final between Ashford Town and Cockfosters, both of whom Enfield knocked out.
One crumb of comfort for the Borough team is that their London Senior Cup final against Hanwell Town on Saturday May 9 will still go ahead as planned.
The game will take place at Hampton & Richmond Borough FC and Baker will focus his attention on that match.
He said: “I’ve given the boys a week off to recover and then we will train twice before the cup final against Hanwell.
“Unless I’m told otherwise it seems that the other cup final will not happen until pre-season, which is a joke.
“We are not at fault and Enfield told the FA in January about the player having more cautions than the FA thought he had, so it’s the FA or the Ryman League who have failed to deal with this situation promptly. They’ve known about it for a number of months.
“It’s a shame because you work hard all season and a cup final is a reward at the end of it.”
Baker’s arrival as manager in January led to a major turnaround in fortune, with Borough winning nine of their last 15 league games to eventually finish 16th – five points clear of the danger zone.
The former Chipstead boss admits the last three months could not have gone much better.
“When I joined the club I did believe we could stay up but I didn’t imagine we would do it by the margin we have,” he said. “We’ve also played really well to get the points we needed.
“I don’t think the squad will need a massive overhaul in the summer. I will look to bring in two or three new faces, which is normal for any football club, but I think the key to success at this level to keeping your squad together for a few years.
“I look at what Gary McCann has achieved with Hendon and I’d like to try and replicate that.
“Gary has got a settled squad of players there and it’s a model I will be looking to follow.”
Baker has yet to sign a contract with Harrow but is motivated to make his time at the club a success.
“I’m in discussions with the club at the moment,” he said. “I’m really ambitious as a manager and my focus is purely on Harrow.
“A lot of people probably doubted me when I was given the job but I think I’ve repaid the faith the club showed in me.”
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