Hampton & Richmond striker Dave Tarpey is hoping a run of five goals in eight appearances can bring an extended stay at the Beveree for the former Basingstoke man.

The 21-year-old, named man of the match alongside Dean Wells in the weekend’s 4-1 win over promotion chasing rivals Eastleigh, has been in and out of the starting line-up all season since joing the club in the summer.

Tarpey, who took over penalty taking duties from Barrie Matthews to bag a brace from the spot on Saturday, scored 13 goals in eight-game spell on-loan at Walton & Hersham earlier in the season.

Beveree boss Alan Devonshire’s men are all but safe in the Blue Square South having flirted with relegation in a campaign characterised by changing personnel at Station Road.

Tarpey reckons he has finally proved worthy of a regular starting slot and is ready to commit to another campaign with the Beavers come the summer.

And he thanks the spell he enjoyed at Stompond Lane for rescuing Station Road career.

“It has been a bit of a mix and match year for me. I want to stay and I just want to play the best I can between now and the end of the season,” he said.

“I went out on loan to get games. I go my confidence back at Walton and was able to prove to Dev that I could score goals.

“I’ve got over 20 goals this season and although a lot have come at a lower level, just scoring does strikers the world of good.”

Tarpey left Basingstoke when his contract expired at the end of last season and they were unable to offer him regular football, so he was thankful Devonshire glanced at his CV favourably during pre-season.

“I sent my CV out to a couple of clubs and luckily Dev gave me a call to ask me down to pre-season training,” he added.

“At the time he had four strikers and he couldn’t guarantee I’d play regularly, but he reassured me I wouldn’t be away forever.

“He took a punt on me and it has paid off.”

Hampton crashed 3-1 at Woking on Tuesday night, but with 13 points between them and the drop zone Tarpey reckons everyone can breath easily over the final weeks of the season.

“You can see what happens when the pressure is off a bit. We beat Bath and then we put four past Eastleigh,” he said.

“We got two massive wins and that means we can enjoy the rest of the season rather than worry about things.”

Hampton’s next three games: Mar 27 Chelmsford City (a), 30 Dover Athletic (h), Apr 3 Thurrock (a).