STUDLEY are backing new signing Mark Magee to boost their goals-for record to fire them among the promotion-chasers.
Bosses John Edwards and Wayne Bunn are hoping the arrival of the former Evesham United, Bishops Cleeve and Westfields forward will help get the best out of his new team-mates.
Magee, who has also been on dual forms with West Midlands League Premier side Lye Town, marked his debut with a goal as the Bees returned from a three-week lay-off with a 3-0 win at Kirby Muxloe on Saturday.
Fit-again Harvey Smith also resumed with a two-goal show and top-scorer Dale Edwards then netted the equaliser in Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw at second-placed Lichfield City.
Edwards was delighted to see the Bees get back to action, although he felt it could have been six points rather than four after they had chances to topple Lichfield.
They will want to continue the momentum when third-placed Uttoxeter Town visit the Beehive on Saturday, weather permitting.
“I was concerned about last Saturday because we hadn’t played for a while – you can train all you want but there’s no substitute for playing,” said Edwards.
“It was a good performance and our front three were a constant threat.
“Mark came in and we know he is an out and out goalscorer. He probably felt he had a quiet game but he got his goal. We’ve been quite frustrated with not taking our chances and we’ve been crying out for someone like Mark.
“On Tuesday, it took us ten minutes or so to get used to playing on Lichfield’s artificial surface. We were a bit disjointed but then we came into it and in the end we could have taken the three points. After we equalised, in the final 20 minutes there only looked like there was going to be one winner.”
Magee’s arrival has prompted an ultra-attacking formation, with Danny Carter slotting into midfield alongside Dale Edwards and Luke Dugmore, with Magee, Smith and Odane Barnes spearheading the attack.
In particular, Carter, more familiar as a forward, had a new lease of life as the fulcrum in the centre of the park.
“Dan hasn’t scored as many as he would like so we decided to take him out of the firing line,” added Edwards. “He went into midfield and looked completely relaxed. He just showed how much ability he has got.
“We’re not going to play 4-3-3 all the time but it’s another string to our bow.”
One big disappointment, however, was that Dugmore, just back after breaking his ribs, suffered the same injury in another challenge. He could now face a lengthy lay-off, fears Edwards.
On Tuesday, Lichfield had to weather Studley’s early pressure before they struck just before half-time when Keinan Palmer hammered home a cross from Jordan Evans.
The Bees, however, had the edge in the second period. Smith’s shot was superbly saved by keeper Adam Jenkins and substitute Shaun Cooke could not convert the rebound but it was 1-1 on 70 minutes when Edwards ghosted past a tackler as he cut in and guided a perfect finish into the net.
Magee almost snatched the winner, only to be denied by the post.
On Saturday, Studley were quickly in control after netting twice inside 11 minutes. Magee opened the scoring after just two minutes and Smith added a second. Smith made it 3-0 after a corner kick on 77 minutes.