STUDLEY have been urged to prove why they have got the joint best defensive record in Midland League Division One by nullifying ‘the best attacking side in the league on Saturday.
Joint-managers John Edwards and Wayne Bunn highlighted the Bees’ own attacking threat as a key feature in their sequence of eight league games unbeaten.
Goals from Jamie Clarke and Steve Roche sealed a 2-1 home win against leaders Lichfield City on Saturday but the run came to end in Wednesday night’s 2-1 defeat at Atherstone Town, which left Studley seventh.
The Bees head to title-chasing Heather St John’s, who lie within two points of top spot, on Saturday to face a goal-laden strikeforce led by hot-shot Simeon Cobourne.
Last season’s Golden Boot winner, who smashed 75 goals in 46 matches, has already bagged 16 goals in ten games, while the Saints also have former Studley striker Chris Cowley and ex-Coleshill pair Mark Gardner and Dean Rathbone among the arsenal.
“We’ve been on a good run and I’m confident we’ve been making progress,” said Edwards. “We had chances against Atherstone even though we lost but it will be even tougher when we go to Heather on Saturday.
“They are the best attacking side in the league. They have got so many options up front. Simeon Cobourne got nearly 80 goals last season but there are others as well including a few lads we were after in the summer.
“Heather are going to be one of the teams going for the title but we’ve shown we can raise our game against the top teams. We’ve got the joint best goals-against record in the league and we know we will have to defend well on Saturday.”
Edwards admitted it had been a game of two halves against Lichfield in Saturday’s rain-hit, wind-battered fixture at the Beehive. Clarke and Roche put Studley 2-0 up at half-time before the visitors rallied when they had the better of the conditions after the break.
“I can’t stress enough how well our front four have been performing,” said Edwards. “They are all starting to hit form.
“Jamie Clarke has given us another dimension with how he holds the ball up, Dan Carter is getting back to his best and scoring goals again, Dale Edwards has hit form on the left and Steve Roche on the right and we’ve also added Sean Cooke.”
The Bees, however, suffered their first league defeat since the opening week of the campaign at Sheepy Road on Wednesday, despite taking the lead.
Roche scored after ten minutes, firing home after Adders keeper James Beeson had parried Jordan Jones’ drive, but Ryan Quinn levelled a minute before half-time and, after Carter was denied in a one-on-one, Joe Obi bagged the winner on 77 minutes.
After the trip to Leicestershire side Heather, Studley head to Gornal on Tuesday to tackle West Midlands League Premier Division high-flyers Black Country Rangers in the Birmingham Midweek Floodlit Cup.