19th Sep, 2020

Edwards says Bees must improve to maintain title chance

Redditch Editorial 12th Mar, 2020

JOHN Edwards promised changes to Studley’s line-up on Saturday in response to the ‘worst performance of the season’ and the start of the busiest week of the campaign so far.

Edwards and joint-boss Wayne Bunn were bitterly frustrated at having to settle for a 1-1 draw at GNP Sports last weekend – a result which left them further behind title-chasers Leicester Road.

The Bees remain third in Midland League Division One, now 20 points adrift of Leicester who have played five games more.

Edwards says he will shuffle the ranks for Saturday’s home clash with Cadbury Athletic which starts a spell of four games in eight days.

Last Tuesday’s postponement against Darlaston Town – the second in successive weeks at the Beehive – means the Birmingham Midweek Challenge Cup semi-final will now played at the Black Country side this Tuesday. As a result, the planned league clash at Rocester will be moved from Tuesday to next Thursday before Studley entertain Kirby Muxloe next Saturday.

A week on Wednesday (March 25), the Bees head to promotion rivals Atherstone Town.

“It’s going to be a busy week and we utilise the whole squad – that’s why we’ve got a strong squad,” said Edwards.

“But there would have been changes for this weekend after last Saturday. It was one of the worst performances of the season, if not the worst. The only positive was that we didn’t lose the game.

“We had probably the strongest bench we’ve had all season. If I’d been on the bench, watched Saturday’s game and then there had been no changes I would be banging on the door asking why.

“It felt like a defeat. The most disappointing thing was that we didn’t defend their goal from a set-piece. We’d said at half-time that if we did the basics right, we would come away with a 1-0 win but we conceded 15 minutes from time.”

Studley had led through David Edwards’ strike but Coventry side GNP’s resilient battling was rewarded with Aaron Dickens’ equaliser.

Top-scorer Dale Edwards will be unavailable for Saturday’s clash with 16th-placed Cadbury but he will be back in midweek.

Despite the sizeable gap to Leicester Road, who won at Uttoxeter on Wednesday night, Edwards suggests there will be a few twists and turns in the next eight weeks.

“I still think Leicester Road are catchable,” he added.

“A lot of the teams at the top have got to play each other – we have got to go to Atherstone, for instance – and a lot can change.

“I’ve looked at the run-ins of all the teams and, if you were going to pick a run-in, it would be ours, but we’ve got to show we’re good enough and put a run together.”

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