STUDLEY must build on their early-season momentum to keep up with the pacesetters in the frantic Midland League Division One promotion tussle, according to joint boss John Edwards.
The Bees lie sixth in the table after last weekend’s 1-1 home draw with Atherstone Town, although they now have a two-week break before their next fixture.
With scheduled rivals Lichfield City – another of the early contenders – in FA Vase action on Saturday, Studley will not be in action until next October 19 when they entertain fifth-placed Hinckley AFC before the run of games against high-flying teams continues with a trip to former leaders Brocton on October 26.
“We can’t be too disappointed with the run we’ve been on in the league, winning six games and losing once,” said Edwards.
“If you look at the way the fixtures have fallen, we’ve played all the top teams and in the next few weeks we’ve got Hinckley and Brocton. After that we’ve teams lower down the table and we need to take advantage.
“It’s important we stay in among the top teams by Christmas time. Then you can look to kick on.
“We need to keep improving. It’s frustrating we’ve got no game this weekend and we might train instead on Saturday, but when you’re on a good run you want to keep playing.”
Edwards felt the Bees should have made it seven league wins in a row last weekend against an Adders side which played the last 25 minutes with ten men.
The Bees went ahead five minutes before half-time at the Beehive when Odane Barnes collected Dale Edwards’ pass and raced away to beat keeper Carl O’Neill.
The lead was shortlived though as Ryan Quinn converted Alex Naughton’s pass to level.
Atherstone were reduced to ten when Brady Middleton was dismissed on 67 minutes and Studley pressed for a winner, only for Barnes to fire wide and head straight at O’Neill, while Joe Obi produced a goal-saving challenge on the striker.
“We had chances to have won but I can’t moan about the result,” said Edwards. “We went ahead but then didn’t do the basics after scoring and the equaliser knocked the stuffing out of us.
“They had the better of the early stages of the second half but then we ended the stronger and probably deserved to nick it.”
Meanwhile, the Bees expect to be without front-runner Harvey Smith for the next few weeks.
After missing the second half of last season with an ankle injury, he has suffered a reaction in his comeback.
“Harvey has probably come back a little too early and he’s had a bit of a setback,” said Edwards. “He’s not quite right so it’s probably going to be a couple of weeks before he can play again.”