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23rd May, 2022

It's onwards and upwards insists Bees boss Draper

Liam Moakes 26th Jan, 2017 Updated: 26th Jan, 2017

STUDLEY manager Keith Draper has urged his side to build on Saturday’s vital 5-2 victory at Stafford Town and insisted the ‘R’ word is never mentioned at the Beehive.

The Bees’ win lifted them above Stafford into 18th place in Midland League Division One and Draper’s side are now two points above the relegation zone, albeit having played two games more than Stafford.

However, with a new-look squad at his disposal and many positives to take from recent performances, Draper insists Studley are only looking upwards.

“It was a massive game and a massive result for us,” said Draper. “We raced into a 3-0 lead and looked really comfortable, but we had to make three substitutions at or just after half time as players picked up lower back injuries as a result of the 4G pitch and that disrupted our rhythm somewhat.

“When Stafford pulled it back to 3-2 we did get a bit nervous, but we changed our shape and the introductions of Matty Dorgan and Danny Moy from the bench after an hour really turned the screw.”

Moy set up both of Dorgan’s goals which sealed the three points for the Bees after Gaz Evans had continued his red-hot form with a brace and man of the match Josh Westwood also found the net with a fine goal.

Draper says his side can go into Saturday’s visit of high-flying Atherstone Town in confident mood as they look to complete an unlikely league double over the north Warwickshire side.

“We’ve lost one of our last five games now and have a goalscorer in brilliant form in Gaz Evans,” said Draper.

“Gaz has scored 15 goals in the last 11 games and it might have been better but for hitting the bar and missing a penalty on Saturday!

“I’ve been involved in football for a long time and I cannot recall seeing a more hardworking striker. He is pivotal to the way we play and I am absolutely delighted he has rejected the seven-day approach from Pershore Town to rejoin them.

“We do need to tighten up at the back still, but we can now go into matches with confidence and belief as I can see real footballers here.

“The lads I have brought in do not have fear as they have been playing for winning teams and that is very important psychologically.”

Draper, who can welcome talented midfielder Ollie Casey back from suspension this weekend but will be without Moy who is on Birmingham County U18s duty, continued: “Nobody will get an easy ride against us now.

“We have everyone fit and fighting for places. There were 22 at training on Tuesday and the players are enjoying the battle.

“There’s no talk of relegation here. We are looking to rein in sides above us and have our eyes on success in the Birmingham Midweek Floodlit Cup semi against Cadbury Athletic in February.

“Atherstone is the first of three successive home games and then we have plenty of fixtures on the horizon against sides in and around us, so I am confident we can do what we need to do.”


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