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Edwards confident of a top six challenge

Redditch Editorial 28th Feb, 2019 Updated: 28th Feb, 2019

STUDLEY hope the arrival of youngster Will Davidson will help ease their nagging injury woes and boost their push for the top six.

Bees joint-boss John Edwards revealed an impromptu chat with Redditch United boss Paul Smith led to defender Davidson linking up with the Midland League Division One club and after the Studley line-up was hit by four late casualties he made his debut in last weekend’s home defeat to Atherstone Town.

Despite the 2-1 loss to the title-chasing Adders, Davidson, a former Forest Green academy player, impressed in a defence hit by the absences of Jordan Jones, Anthony Miller and Matty Edwards.

“Will came into a back three and did well,” said Edwards. “He enjoyed it and hopefully we will have him for the rest of the season as long as Smudger (Smith) doesn’t need him.

“Will’s been training and playing with Redditch, travelling down from Swindon, and he was itching to play. It was big plus for us. I’d only had a chat with Smudger and I mentioned our horrendous run of injuries and he recommended Will.”

Studley’s list of casualties grew after three players were all crocked in training – Lewis Clarke, having recovered from a toe operation, picked up an ankle injury, while Dale Edwards damaged his ankle and Matty Edwards suffered a knock.

To add to the woes, Jones then limped out off the warm-up after aggravating a knee problem suffered in training.

Bosses Edwards and Wayne Bunn again expect to take a patched-up side to Uttoxeter Town on Saturday but they then face a three-week break from fixtures before tackling Stapenhill at the Beehive on March 23.

Uttoxeter, though, will be a challenge for the Bees. The Staffordshire hosts, in ninth place, lie three points behind Studley and Edwards was impressed when he watched them in midweek in a 3-1 defeat at title contenders Racing Club Warwick.

“They are a good side,” said Edwards. “After Warwick scored early on, Uttoxeter were then the better side. They are a young side, fit and disciplined. It will be a good battle.”

Studley also felt they gave a good account of themselves last week against fourth-placed Atherstone, having taken an early lead through Sean Brain before going down to a 75th-minute decider.

Brain struck his 21st goal of the season when his shot deflected off Martin Hutchcox and looped over keeper Carl O’Neill into the far corner.

The Adders had parity ten minutes later when skipper Kyle Baxter fired into the corner of the net from Danny Harris’ cross.

Baxter then had a hand in the winner, providing the free kick for Darren Eggleton to head back across goal and Alex Naughton to nod home at the far post.

“It was a decent performance,” said Edwards. “We were much better than in the previous game against Rocester and with the chances we created a draw would have been a fair result.

“Two errors cost us for their goals. We switched off and that’s a lesson we’ve got to learn.”

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