18th Nov, 2019

Visit to leaders is Bees’ acid test

Redditch Editorial 24th Oct, 2019

JOHN Edwards wants Studley to view their trip to Midland League Division One table-toppers Brocton as the chance to prove their top four credentials.

Edwards and joint-boss Wayne Bunn have been frustrated by the Bees having to settle for successive home draws when two wins would have pushed them into the top four.

Edwards admits Saturday’s 1-1 draw at home to Hinckley AFC, following a draw with Atherstone Town in the previous outing, felt like a defeat but says Studley will have a positive outlook at Brocton, who have won nine of their 11 league matches.

“We’ve had two draws against two teams that are rivals in pushing for the top four,” said Edwards. “Looking from the outside, they are not poor results but we had given ourselves the chance to get into the top four and then not taken it.

“Hinckley came and looked to frustrate us from the first to the last whistle. They got what they came for but from my point of view we had enough chances early on to have killed them off.

“It felt like a defeat afterwards. With the chances we created, there only looked like there would be one winner but it just didn’t happen.

“Hinckley were happy to get the point. Teams are coming to play us now, happy to defend and frustrate us so we’ve got to work a little bit harder and be little bit cuter. It’s something we need to address.

“Brocton will be a different test. They will come out and attack and that could suit us.”

Edwards confirmed talks are ongoing with Rocester hot-shot Jordon Dodd after Studley filed a seven-day approach last week.

The former Gresley and Walsall Wood striker took his goals tally to 13 with a double in midweek against Burbage.

“We’re hopeful he will join, rather than being confident,” said Edwards. “We’re talking at the moment. He is an out and out goalscorer.

“It’s a case of spicing things up, trying to get something different. I think the squad we’ve got is the best group of local players we can get but we need a little bit extra.”

Last weekend, Odane Barnes threatened early on for the Bees with a curling shot just going wide but Hinckley grabbed the breakthrough goal midway through the first half.

Luke Delaney’s run into the penalty box was ended by Matt Edwards’ foul and Luke Richards fired home the penalty, despite keeper Connor McCarthy getting a hand to the ball.

Studley’s equaliser came seven minutes before half-time, with Dave Edwards finishing in a goalmouth scramble. Although the referee initially ruled it out after keeper Adam Harrison went down, he consulted with his assistant and the goal was given.

Edwards missed another chance moments later and Studley took the initiative after the break but Harrison was largely untested, even with sub Harvey Smith returning to action after his injury lay-off.

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