9th Jul, 2020

Dan’s dual deal bolsters Bees

Redditch Editorial 5th Mar, 2020

DEFENDER Dan Nokes will be on standby to play a role in Studley’s chase for silverware.

The Bees’ fixture continued to grow with last Saturday’s home game with Stapenhill and Tuesday’s clash with visitors Coventry Copsewood both postponed due to a waterlogged pitch at the Beehive.

It means the Midland League Division One title-chasers will face at least 15 matches in the next eight weeks but Nokes will provide further options in a frantic schedule after signing as a dual-registered player from Pershore Town.

The former Bees youth-teamer will remain with the Plums and help Studley if needed.

“We’re going to be playing a lot of matches and Pershore haven’t got that many matches so it could work out well for both parties,” said Bees joint manager John Edwards. “He will be another strong option.

“The squad is going to be stretched by the fact we’re going to be playing Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday every week. We’ve got a minimum of 15 games and possibly 18 if we can get to the final of the two competitions we’re still in. It’s going to take some squeezing in between now and the end of the season.”

The Bees are still keeping tabs on Romulus midfielder Alex Tomkinson, but Edwards and Wayne Bunn are close to having a full squad available to visit Coventry side GNP Sports on Saturday.

Despite having to postpone the Stapenhill game last week, the Bees faced Walsall Wood on the 3G pitch in a friendly, with Dean Fisher and Dale Edwards both returning after injury to score the goals.

Left-back Lewis Marston also featured for half an hour after his ankle injury.

Midfielder Fisher suffered a nasty burn after a sliding tackle which got infected but he is expected to be fit to face GNP.

Striker Odane Barnes is a doubt through his work commitments, while defender Jean Kalenda will need a fitness check.

After Saturday, Studley’s attention turns to the chance to reach the Birmingham Midweek Floodlit Cup final, when they entertain Darlaston Town in the semi-finals on Tuesday.

If the game is again called off, for the second time, then it will be switched to the Black Country side.

While the third-placed Bees are pushing for promotion, the Midweek Cup and the Smedley Crooke Memorial Charity Cup are important, said Edwards.

“The pressure is on us in the league because we know we can’t afford any slip-ups,” he added. “If we want to win the league, we’re looking at winning pretty much every game because Leicester Road are doing so well and to get into the top four we probably need to win ten out of our 13 games.

“The cups are a different kind of pressure but on Tuesday we’re 90 minutes from a final.”

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