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Evesham hope to end fixture frustration
7:00pm Friday 31st January 2014 in Sport By Steve Carley - Midlands Sports Journalist of the Year 2013, @stevecarleyWN
MANAGER Paul Collicutt is hoping recent postponements will be a blessing in disguise for Evesham United.
The Robins have seen two matches in four days called off at the Spiers and Hartwell Jubilee Stadium because of waterlogged pitches, against Didcot Town last Saturday and Merthyr Town on Tuesday.
It means Evesham have played two Calor Southern League Division One South and West fixtures in 2014 — they followed up a 5-0 win over Thatcham with a 1-1 draw at Clevedon.
While frustrating, the lack of action could help United as striker Carl Brown (shoulder), defender Linden Dovey (knee) and midfielder Neil Barnfield (knee) were all struggling to be fit to face Merthyr.
Collicutt now hopes to have at least Dovey and Barnfield available for Saturday’s trip to Mangotsfield United (3pm).
He said: “It’s very frustrating having two games called off. The club were hopeful the game was going to be played yesterday but then we had torrential rain.
“There’s not a lot we can do about it. The only plus is we had three lads who have knocks and it gives them time to get back.”
Mangotsfield are third in the table but have lost their last two matches, against Tiverton Town and Swindon Supermarine.
Following Saturday’s match, Evesham face a Worcestershire FA Senior Cup semi-final at holders Stourbridge, the team who knocked them out of the FA Cup in September, next Tuesday (7.45pm).
They are two of four away games in a row for the Robins, and Collicutt is trying to strike a balance between getting results and keeping players fresh. He said: “Whatever cup you play in, it’s always better to have a game than train. I will try and put out as strong a team as I can but it depends on Saturday. I might give some of the other lads a game.
“We know we are in for a very difficult game on Saturday so I might need to rest one or two.
“It would be nice to go to Stourbridge and get a result to get a bit of revenge for the FA Cup.”
The weather also claimed Littleton’s Midland Combination Premier Division trip to Pilkington XXX last Saturday along with Pershore Town’s home match against Bromsgrove Sporting. Both were called off due to waterlogged pitches.
Pershore are due to host Littleton on Saturday at the Winstanley and Co King George V Stadium (3pm).