STUDLEY may be closing in on Midland League Division One survival, but manager Keith Draper could not hide his disappointment at his side’s display in Tuesday’s 3-1 home defeat to Uttoxeter Town.
The Bees moved seven points clear of second bottom Pelsall Villa thanks to Saturday’s 3-0 victory at Lichfield City and retain that advantage despite their midweek setback.
However, Draper was bitterly disappointed with his side’s performance on Tuesday when victory would have all but secured the Bees’ status given the tough five matches Pelsall have remaining.
Draper, whose side are four places above the bottom two, said: “We played really well on a terrible pitch at Lichfield on Saturday but it was terrible on Tuesday. I was gutted by our performance.
“We’d been told before the game we’d won the team of the month award for our division for March and, whether that went to some of the players’ heads, I don’t know.
“We took a 1-0 lead through Danny Ludlow but couldn’t string three passes together and I was just waiting for Uttoxeter to score.
“We were not at the races and that’s a shame because since the rest of the management team and myself took over we have played very well in most matches and certainly always given everything. I couldn’t say the same on Tuesday.
“On reflection, though, I can’t be too hard on the lads. It’s been a remarkable turnaround and we just need to get over the line now.
“It’s been a long slog since Christmas and some of the boys haven’t had a rest. Players like Gaz Evans, Jack McGinn and Luke Dugmore could do with a breather and not having a game now until our visit to Bromsgrove Sporting on Easter Saturday is probably a blessing in disguise.”
Dugmore, Matthew Dorgan and Aaron Westwood netted on Saturday for the Bees, who have four league matches remaining. After the trip to Sporting, they host lowly Chelmsley Town on Easter Monday (3pm) knowing victory would likely seal their survival.