DEFENDER Liam Harding has an open invite to be part of Evesham United – whether that’s on or off the pitch.

The Robins favourite was hampered by persistent knee trouble following his return from long-term injury and surgery last season under previous boss Paul Collicutt and missed out on pre-season this time.

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Harding was an interested onlooker at last week’s 4-3 victory over Slimbridge with new gaffer Carl Abbott keen to see the future holds.

“I hadn’t realised he was coming but I will be speaking to him,” said Abbott.

“He has had problems with his knee and needs to take advice from the surgeon as to when he can come back. Essentially, we need to work at Liam’s pace.

“There is a place at this football club for Liam as a player or if he can’t play but wants to stay in football. Whatever he wants to do, I will cater for him in a capacity that suits him.”

Evesham’s squad has taken a couple of hits over the past week with the news Tyler Weir has suffered a fractured ankle, something Abbott called “a crying shame”.

Then Mike McGrath moved on, stepping up two levels to sign for Kettering Town and scoring at both ends in a 1-1 draw at Southport on Saturday.

On the plus side, Evesham have snapped up Alvechurch full-back Taylor Morrison and hope to extend the stay of goalkeeper Lochlan Robertson on work experience terms from Bristol City.

“I am going to speak to Pat Mountain at Bristol City, they are keen for him to get football so it suits all parties at the moment,” said Abbott.

“Reece (Francis) is back now but we have to fulfil our obligations to Bristol City, they have been good enough to send down Lochlan and we will see what they intend the initial spell to be and take it from there.

“Taylor is really talented. We played Alvechurch in pre-season and he was the best player on the pitch.

“We have capitalised on a bit of a difference of opinion between Taylor and Daz Byfield (Church manager), who is a good friend of mine.

“We had not been looking to recruit but it was something we could not turn down.”

The credentials of the tweaked squad will be sternly tested as Evesham head to early Southern League Division One South pacesetters Frome Town tonight (7.45).

The hosts have a 100 per cent record after four outings, while United will seek a fourth straight win in all competitions.



EVESHAM United dished out a lesson in taking chances to win 2-1 at Sholing on Sunday.

The hosts had the first efforts of note after a tame start, Dan Mason fired at the legs of keeper Lochlan Robertson before Byron Mason blazed over.

Evesham began to move through the gears, though, with Kai Tonge twice going close before Taylor Morrison darted forward unchallenged from the halfway line and rounded off a one-two with a cool finish.

Dan Mason got a shot off that rebounded off the post before the interval and United took full advantage, Lee Chilton doubling their lead from the penalty spot in added time at the end of the first half following a clumsy challenge by Alex Sawyer.

Evesham remained on top after the break but the Boatmen regained composure around the hour mark, Jake Toole and Dan Mason going close.

Gaps emerged for the visitors to wrap up the points and although TJ Cuthbertson’s deflected free-kick in injury time halved the deficit, it was too little too late.

Robins: Robertson, Roberts, Morrison, Paddock, Maslen-Jones, Cresswell, Smikle, Bragoli, Tonge (Reynolds, 62), Chilton (Magee, 78), Sangha (O'Neill, 73).

Unused subs: Till, Page.

Attendance: 175.