11th Apr, 2021

Heavy defeat at leaders is painful for wasteful Studley

Liam Moakes 18th Jan, 2018

LEADERS and title favourites Walsall Wood proved too strong for Studley on Saturday as the Bees suffered a fourth Midland League Division One defeat in five games, although the 7-0 scoreline was extremely harsh on the visitors.

The big-spending Black Country side have now scored 32 goals in their past six matches in all competitions and look a certain bet to return to the Premier Division at the first time of asking.

Wood were clinical in front of goal on Saturday and that was the difference between the sides as Studley wasted numerous good chances to score.

Indeed, Josh Westwood came close to putting the visitors ahead inside ten minutes when he powered in from the right and forced Ryan Price into a smart save from his rising near post strike.

Soon afterwards Karl King and Luke Dugmore combined cleverly on the counter-attack to set up Chris Cowley inside the box, but the latter could only fire tamely wide from an excellent position.

Yet another fine chance came Studley’s way midway through the first half when Cowley pounced on hesitation in the home rearguard and scampered away to the byline before crossing low into the box to find King, whose first-time effort was saved by Price before Mitch Tolley cleared the danger.

The Bees were punished for their profligacy when Tony Clarke made it 1-0 and soon afterwards the hosts’ lead was doubled from the penalty spot by former Studley ace Lei Brown following a foul on Clarke.

Even then Studley had chances to reply before the break but Eddie Wynne-Wilson’s strike was pushed over by Price before King should have done better than shoot wide from Westwood’s right-wing cross.

Wood were much-improved in the second half and it was soon 4-0 as Brown and Ben Lund netted before Jordan Fitzpatrick made it 5-0 on 72 minutes with a 20-yard effort.

Studley did not surrender and Westwood exchanged passes with Cowley before seeing his low shot well held by Price at full stretch.

However, the misery was complete for the visitors when pressure from Brown resulted in an own goal before Lewis Hayden completed the scoring with a nonchalant 40-yard chip over stranded Studley keeper Ryan Young.

Fifth placed Studley were denied the chance to bounce back when Tuesday’s scheduled trip to Heath Hayes fell victim to a waterlogged pitch.

A visit to sixth placed Racing Club Warwick awaits on Saturday before a home game on Tuesday against West Midlands Premier outfit Dudley Town in the Birmingham Midweek Floodlit Cup.

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