PROMOTION-CHASING Studley will ease their fixture backlog by occupying the Redditch United home dressing-room tonight (Friday).
The Bees have switched their planned Midland League Division One home match against Chelmsley Town from the Beehive to the Reds’ Trico Stadium tonight, with a 7.45pm kick-off.
After Storms Ciara and Dennis left their own pitch sodden, and with the Chelmsley clash starting a run of five home games in a row, joint manager John Edwards said they wanted to find a solution to keep playing.
“After all the rain we’ve had the pitch is horrendous. We’ve got five home games on the trot and I can’t see any of them being on,” he explained.
“So we took it into our hands to find a way of getting the game played. Chelmsley agreed and we have to applaud the league for letting us go ahead.
“So many teams have had games called off and we’re facing a big backlog and that’s a big worry for us.
“Leicester Road are top and they’ve played four games more than us. Their pitch drains well and they could easily be six or seven games ahead of us.
“We just want to get back on the pitch and playing.
“When we had our unbeaten run we build up the momentum by playing game after game and that’s the key to getting continuity and keeping players happy. It’s been frustrating.”
Studley are already considering the possibility of playing next Saturday’s home clash with Stapenhill at the Trico, though it could be an evening kick-off.
Though Studley have a 3G training pitch, it does not meet the criteria to host competitive games.
Chelmsley, who groundshare at Coleshill Town’s 4G pitch, were the only team in Midland League Division One to host a game last weekend, but lost 2-0 to Kirby Muxloe.
Chelmsley sit third from bottom in the table, but Edwards warns league standings will matter little.
Though the Bees won 5-2 at Pack Meadow before Christmas, Chelmlsey have traditionally been a bogey side.
“It’s by no means a gimme fixture,” said Edwards. “Over the years, they have been a bit of bogey side for us.
“They’ve beaten us in one cup competition this season and we know it’s going to be a battle.”
With the game now being played on Friday night, striker Odane Barnes is ruled out through work commitments while full-back Lewis Marston is not fully recovered from his ankle tendon injury. Having been told he will not an operation, he could be back next weekend.
Striker Chrisi Cowley is also back in contention tonight.
Studley have arranged a new date for the trip to Rocester, postponed due to a waterlogged pitch last weekend. It had been pencilled in for Tuesday March 10.