Southam find Studley defence are not in such generous mood

James Hardie scored his first goal of the season as Southam United took a point from Studley on Tuesday evening.
James Hardie scored his first goal of the season as Southam United took a point from Studley on Tuesday evening.

Southam came away from The Beehive with a point on Tuesday evening but they had plenty of chances to have wrapped up all three against a Studley side that had shipped 12 goals in their previous two matches, writes David Hucker.

After a scrappy opening, debutant Chris Conway came close to scoring in the seventh minute, but was just beaten to the ball by keeper Mark Sanders, before having another shot cleared by a defender for a corner.

He then turned provider to set up Saints’ opener, sending Kyle Turner away, who squared the ball for James Hardie to score his first goal of the season.

It should have been two in the 33rd as Conway and Turner combined to send Lee Thomas on a run but his low cross into the area just evaded the onrushing Turner.

It was all square five minutes later after Saints failed to clear a corner and Jarrell Hylton’s low shot from the edge of the penalty area beat Tom Cross.

Saints failed to capitalise on a host of chances in the second half, but could have taken all three points at the death, only for Conway’s header to be well saved by Sanders.

On Saturday, Saints were left hanging on against Heather St Johns despite opening up a three-goal lead inside 15 minutes.

After only three minutes, Dan Ludlow did well to win the ball down the left and cut inside to square to Turner, whose shot went under keeper Ben Allsopp.

Oliver Casey then doubled the advantage with a sublime free-kick from the outside left edge of the penalty area.

It was 3-0 after a quarter of an hour as Pawel Tomczak muscled his way past a defender to set up Turner, who could not quite get his shot in. The ball came back to Tomczak, who beat Allsopp for his first goal since returning to the club.

Saints were defending better than in previous matches, but they switched off in the 34th minute when an attempted headed backpass by Kevin Spencer fell to Dave Yonwin, who lobbed the ball over Cross and into an empty net.

They should have restored their three-goal advantage four minutes later when Casey set up Turner but he shot straight at Allsopp.

Saints started to lose their shape after the break, retreating deep and inviting Heather to attack.

They still had their chances, however, with Hardie firing too close to the keeper and Turner trying to set up Tomczak rather than shooting after being put clean through, only to under-hit the pass and allowing Allsopp to gather.

With six minutes to go, poor defending saw substitute Ryan Baxter score at the second attempt for Heather and Lee Chapman almost snatched a point from a free-kick in added time.