JOHN EDWARDS believes Studley’s surge in form has proved they can match anybody in Midland League Division One.
However, their midweek cup disappointments have also proved they can slip up against anybody.
Joint-boss Edwards hopes the easing of a debilitating injury list will help them find the consistency to keep improving.
The Bees chalked up a fifth league win in a row in sweeping aside Rocester 2-0 on Saturday – a result which pushed them into ninth place but only three points behind co-leaders Brocton, Hinckley AFC, Lichfield City and Uttoxeter Town.
Studley then bowed out of the Moldwel Products League Cup, conceding an 83rd-minute winner to go down 4-3 at Chelmsley Town.
Dale Edwards and Dave Edwards could both be back after injury when Studley head to seventh-placed Ashby Ivanhoe and bosses Edwards and Wayne Bunn hopes the growing strength in depth can help build the momentum to become top five challengers.
“On our day, I feel we are a match for anybody,” said Edwards. “But if it’s not our day we can lose to anybody.
“It’s been chalk and cheese in Saturday and midweek matches. We’ve won five in a row in the league but then we’ve gone out of two cups in the last two midweeks in games in which we really fancied our chances to progress. The teams we put out were good enough to do that.
“It’s been an up and down start. The injuries haven’t helped but hopefully that situation is getting better now.”
Edwards added: “The aim at the start of the season was to get into the top five.
“After the first three games, that looked unlikely but now we’re much better placed. When we get to ten games – and we’ve only played eight so far – we will have a better idea of how we might fare.”
One of Studley’s fit-again players – Jordan Jones – helped set up Saturday’s home win against Rocester. The defender scored the first goal and Dan Carter doubled the lead before half-time.
On Monday, Carter struck again in the 4-3 defeat at Chelmsley.
Harvey Smith fired the Bees ahead after 14 minutes but Chelmsley then roared into a 3-1 lead with goals from Luke Barlone (2) and Adam Keeley.
Studley hit back to level thanks to goals from Carter and Lewis Marston, but Jeorge Smith smashed home a magnificent 25-yard free kick winner for the hosts.
“We dominated the first 20 minutes, went ahead and looked comfortable,” said Edwards.
“It was a shock to then go 3-1 down but we got it back to 3-3 before they got a worldy for the winner.”
After Saturday’s trip to Ashby, Studley return to the Beehive on Tuesday for a Smedley Crooke Memorial Cup clash with Walsall side Lane Head.