16th Apr, 2021

Draper: Studley's rewards are deserved

Liam Moakes 23rd Mar, 2017

STUDLEY manager Keith Draper said ‘the hard work is paying off’ after the Bees’ 4-2 victory at Pelsall Villa on Tuesday lifted them three points and places above the Midland League Division One drop zone.

The in-form Bees have won seven of their last nine games in all competitions and, with seven league matches remaining, have survival firmly in their own hands.

Draper, whose side also remain in the hunt for cup glory on two fronts, was thrilled with his side’s efforts at Pelsall and in Saturday’s 2-1 success at Bolehall Swifts.

“Our hard work is paying off. The effort and desire from the lads to keep getting results and ensure we enjoy a successful end to the season has been first class,” said Draper.

“We have played some excellent football in recent weeks but, even when it’s been more of a grind, we have dug in, kept our shape and discipline and battled hard to pick up vital points.

“In the last seven games there is only Bromsgrove Sporting and Hinckley above us in the form table and it’s incredible we haven’t got ourselves further clear of danger to be honest. Other sides down there have also had some good results.

“However, we are focusing on ourselves. We feel we are a match for anyone in our division now and, to have 31 points from as many games having only had eight at Christmas is a brilliant effort.

“I think two more wins will probably get us over the line, but we feel we can challenge for points in every match anyway.”

Studley powered into a 4-0 half time lead at Pelsall thanks to a brilliant first half performance which saw goals from Chris Cowley, Luke Dugmore, Gaz Evans and Danny Ludlow.

Draper was left purring at Cowley’s strike in particular.

“Chris picked up the ball on the edge of our box and went on a brilliant run, beating four or five of their players before chipping the keeper to score. It was a superb goal. He couldn’t have placed the ball into the net any better with his hands,” added Draper.

Saturday’s victory at Bolehall was more hard fought on a poor pitch, but second half goals from prolific pair Evans and Aaron Westwood either side of Gavin Brown’s equaliser secured maximum points for the visitors.

Studley face a tough test on Saturday when they host third placed Hinckley AFC.

Meanwhile, the date and location for Studley’s Birmingham Midweek Floodlit Cup final against Coventry Copsewood has been confirmed. The tie will take place at Leamington FC on Tuesday. May 2 (7.30pm).

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