24th Apr, 2019

Bees bid to throw a spanner in the works

Redditch Editorial 11th Apr, 2019

STUDLEY will look to ruin Heather St John’s potential title party on Saturday – after hopefully uncorking the Champagne themselves.

The Bees last night (Thursday) faced Worcester City in the final of the Worcestershire Senior Urn after learning only last week they had been reinstated in the competition.

They had been knocked out in the semi-final in December, losing 8-7 to Highgate United on penalties, but the Worcestershire FA confirmed last Friday that Gate had been thrown out because on-loan Solihull Moors player Dylan Barkers was ineligible.

Regardless of the result of the final at Evesham’s Jubilee Stadium, Studley will then face a huge test at the Beehive on Saturday when Heather seek the win they need to be confirmed as Midland League Division One champions.

“Learning we were going to play in the cup final came as a surprise as the semi-final was so long ago,” said joint-manager John Edwards.

“It’s a great opportunity and it means we’ve got two tough games in three days.

“It’s been a stop-start few weeks for us but we’ve got the chance to build some momentum.

“Playing Heather is also our last home game of the season so we want to finish off in style, but Heather have the chance to win the title so it’s a big game for them as well. They beat Racing Club Warwick last week and they will be champions, but we will be trying to spoil the party on Saturday.”

Studley had lost to Warwick a fortnight ago, conceding four goals, but they showed more defensive security last weekend in a goalless draw at home to Brocton.

It was their fourth clean sheet of 2019 and bosses Edwards and Wayne Bunn felt that was one positive to take from a largely forgettable contest.

Top-scorer Sean Brain had a couple of good early chances and Joe Adams spurned another opportunity for the Bees, but Edwards felt a point apiece was a fair result. It left them ninth in the table, three points behind Uttoxeter Town with four games to play.

“We were critical of the back line after the Warwick game and the way we conceded from set-pieces,” said Edwards. “We defended a lot better against Brocton but we didn’t quite get it right at the other end.

“Brocton came with a game plan, didn’t push too many players forward and they stifled us but at the other end they didn’t really threaten us.”

The defence can expect a tougher test against Heather who have netted 128 goals in 33 league games and who have the league’s top marksman in 46-goal Simeon Cobourne and joint second best in 29-goal Dean Rathbone.

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