Wednesday 28 September 2022

Studley - Studley Sports Centre

Studley FC
Studley Sports Centre
Abbeyfields Drive
B80 7BF
01527 853817

Ground Number: 1114
Tuesday 27th September 2017
Studley 0-0 Atherstone Town
Midland Premier


The club was formed in 1971 and was initially known as BKL Studley, the works team of a local electrical fittings company. They were known under this moniker up until 2002 when they changed their name to Studley when the firm went bust.  They started out in Sunday football, playing in the Redditch League, before switching to local Saturday football. In 1987, the club joined the Midland Combination, starting out in Division 2. They would go on to earn promotion in 1989, after a third-place finish. Champions of Divison 1 in 1992, Studley were promoted to the Midland Combination Premier Division. Their best finish was 4th in 1997 & 1998, They stayed there until 2021, by which time the league had been renamed a few times and was known as the Midland D1 when they left. Last season they were moved to the Hellenic D1 and the change of surroundings worked wonders. They were champions and won promotion to the Midland Premier in the process. 

Studley played in the FA Cup every season from 2002/03 until 2013/14. Their best progress is the 1st Qualifying Round which they reached in 2003 (a 1-0 home defeat to Bromsgrove Rovers) and 2008 (a 2-1 defeat at Coalville Town) They've also played in the FA Vase from every season from 1998/99 to the present day. The best run came in the 2003/04 season - after beating Wednesfield, Bromyard Town, Mickleover Sports, Blaby & Whetstone Athletic and Leamington, they found themselves with a  5th Round home tie against the then Wessex League side Gosport Borough. They could only manage a 1-1 draw, before losing the replay 2-1 in Hampshire. Local cup honours include the Midland League Challenge Vase in 1988, the Tony Allden Memorial Cup in 2002 and the Smedley Crooke Memorial Cup and Worcestershire Senior Urn on 4 occasions apiece.


Once more on this Tuesday, both of my regular hoppers were available and so we decided to do a long-distance game, or at least as far as we could get when leaving Amersham at 4:15. A list of around eight possibilities was drawn up, ranging from the nearest at Studley's new ground to outposts such as Hereford and Debenham. My preference was, however, one where I could save mileage going via my mates and Shirebrook fitted the bill pretty well. It might be pushing it a bit, but we could always change to something nearer if traffic was bad. We agreed around a week in advance and put all the arrangements in place. Since my last game, I had the usual horrible Sunday amongst the public at work but I did at least get to see a game in the evening. England beat Germany 3-2 at Amersham Town in a supporters game for the Queen Elisabeth II Memorial Trophy in what was a reasonable game. Monday bought more disappointment as I was told I have to start and finish an hour later at work, wiping out a few groundhopping possibilities. It could be worse though, at least I still get Tuesdays and Saturdays off. Monday evening saw me switch on the England v Germany game after watching Corrie. I was just in time to see Germany go 2-0 up with a remarkable match ending 3-3. I don't usually bother with football on TV but was glad that I did on this occasion. We saw the best and worst of England but I still can't get excited for the World Cup in Qatar. Normally it's a great competition, but the way it was awarded and the fact that it is plonked in the middle of a season leaves me cold.
The day of the game came and I had a reasonable night's sleep. It was the usual walk down town and back where I got a few decent deals in Iceland. I got absolutely drenched on the way back due to rain and spent the afternoon at home. I left at 3.45 and was parked up by 4 but Colin took ages to arrive. He was 35 minutes late and didn't offer much in the way of apology and didn't even bother getting in contact to say he'd be late. I'd also phoned, texted and Whatsapped him but he'd left his phone out the back of the shop. It turned out that someone had phoned in sick, but letting me know would have been nice. The roads were crap getting over to Anwar and we weren't there until 5.20. It was another five minutes to decide our game as it was too tight to get to Shirebrook. We decided on Studley as we were so late and we got there at 7.10. Anwar had found a great-sounding takeaway called Alimento's but it was getting on and so we just went to the nearest one. Mario's was OK, but Colin hadn't bothered to get any cash out. Luckily, there was an ATM nearby and it was soon sorted. My half-pound cheeseburger meal was decent enough for £7.50, all freshly cooked but I'd have preferred to try something new.
We headed to the ground, arriving bang on kick-off. There was a queue to get in and the attendance of 103, mostly from Atherstone, was by far Studley's best of the season. The two sides were having unremarkable seasons, treading water in mid-table. However, whilst Studley would have been happy with that, Atherstone would have had aspirations of challenging at the top. The hosts had two wins in the last six as they beat AFC Wulfrunians 2-0 at home and 1-0 away. They'd drawn 0-0 on Saturday with Stapenhill in the FA Vase before losing on penalties. They'd also lost 2-1 at Stourport Swifts and 2-1 to Shifnal Town. Atherstone were in similarly mixed form, having lost 1-0 to Stourport Swifts in their latest game. They'd also lost 4-1 at Hanley Town and 3-2 at Stourport Swifts. On the flip side, they'd beaten Tividale 3-2, Kimberley Miners Welfare 3-1 and Highgate United 2-1. It was not the greatest of games. In the first half, Atherstone Town were well on top and they forced the Studley keeper into a few great saves. Studley were the better side at the start of the second half whilst the visitors had a late rally. All in all, though, it was a poor game, although far from the worst I've seen.
We left around 9.50 and made good time home. The roads were a lot better on the way back and I dropped Anwar off at 11.10, and Colin off at 11.40 before arriving home at 11.55. I was asleep within an hour but it hadn't been a very good evening. We might have made Shirebrook as it turned out as they kicked off late owing to traffic delays for Glasshoughton. The visitors surprisingly won 2-1 in what was probably a better game than what we saw. We might head there next week, either that or Wisbech Town as I've previously researched both teams for abandoned visits. Nearer home, two of my local sides played out a remarkable 4-4 draw before Amersham Town beat Holmer Green on penalties in the Berks & Bucks Cup. I've not had a lot of luck with games recently in terms of entertainment and I hope that the game I was planning to go to on Wednesday would be the same. Penn & Tylers Green v Shrivenham will be a nice walk if nothing else and hopefully a good game too.

STUDLEY SPORTS CENTRE is a functional ground that ticks all the boxes for the ground graders. It is probably good for the club too, but it's not that exciting. It was built in partnership with Solihull Moors who use it as their training ground. It is a caged 3G pitch with a small stand, holding around 100. The rest of the ground is open flat standing. There is a small bar and wider facilities in the club room but this is quite a way from the pitch. In fact, I think it's the same facility as was at their old ground, with the space between is where the old pitch was. The main village centre is less than a mile away and offers a range of places to eat and drink.

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