STUDLEY manager Paul Smith said they tried to sign goal machine Mark Bellingham.

The striker bagged a brace for the Bees in last Thursday’s 6-2 win over Stratford Town.

But the highly-rated hitman opted to joined Studley’s Midlands Football League promotion rivals AFC Hinckley.

Bellingham has scored goals at almost every club he played for and his 45 goals helped Bromsgrove Sporting to finish second last year.

Smith said: “We were interested in signing Mark but he had a number of clubs chasing him and in the end he decided to play for Hinckley.

“He’s a fine player with a great goal recorded but it’s just one of those things.

“But overall I was very pleased with the way we played against a good Stratford side apart from the first ten minutes when we fell behind.”

Reece Hewitt bagged a brace and Danny Morris and and Josh McGinley added more goals against Stratford.

The Bees also defeated Sutton Coldfield 3-0 on Saturday, with Yinka Olia on target and McGinney bagging a brace.

Studley go into the 2014-15 having strengthened impressively with the likes of Matt Poyner and Morris on board.

They commence the campaign at Bolehall Swifts on Saturday (3pm ko) before entertaining Heather St Johns on Tuesday night (7.45pm ko).

Smith added: “Bolehall won’t be an easy start we go into the season with a lot of confidence from pre-season.”