STUDLEY manager Keith Draper hailed his side’s efforts after two victories over the Bank Holiday weekend extended their unbeaten run to six games and took the Bees top of Midland League Division One.
Saturday’s highly impressive 3-0 home win over much-fancied Leicester Road was followed by a gritty 1-0 victory at Cadbury Athletic on Monday and Draper was delighted with both the results and performances.
Whilst big-spending Walsall Wood remain firm title favourites with five wins from five to their name, Draper is thrilled to see his side challenging at the right end of the table after last season’s battle against relegation.
“The last few weeks have been a tough schedule and we’ve faced different games, tactics and styles of play, but I’ve got a healthy squad now and have had the option of rotating things,” said Draper.
“Because we put so much into the Leicester Road game and also had players playing Sunday football, which I can do nothing about, I had to make changes for Monday, but others came in and took their chance well and that’s great to see.
“We dominated the match at Cadbury and never looked like conceding but it wasn’t easy and it was a case of getting the job done which we did through Chris Cowley’s goal.
“Against Leicester Road, I have to give huge credit to our coach Kim Casey who was well aware of the 3-6-1 they like to play. They tried to draw us in but we pressed from the halfway line and didn’t over-exert ourselves.
“We kept it to 0-0 at half time and as the match wore on their legs went. They had put a lot of effort in and we dominated the second half. It was top drawer tactics from Kim and I believe he won us that game,” added Draper, whose side’s goals were scored by Andy Nicol, Lucky Nwosu and Josh Westwood.
The Bees now face another stern test of their credentials against Heath Hayes at the Beehive on Saturday before what appears to be a favourable run of fixtures.
Draper added: “There’s a lot of positivity in the camp and the board are delighted with the progress we are making.
“However, the target remains very much to get the points on the board we need to survive and then we can think about trying to finish in the top six and securing a place in the FA Cup.”
Studley, who may be able to call on midfielder Will Tibbetts for the first time this season on Saturday, have signed left back Shane Smith from United Counties League Division One side Harrowby United and he is line to make his debut against Heath Hayes.
Attacker Liam Fullerton, who only switched from Redditch Borough in the summer, is the subject of a seven-day approach from his previous club.