27th Oct, 2016

Robins await Smith's decision after Hednesford Town approach

Evesham Editorial 29th Sep, 2016 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

PAUL COLLICUTT expects to discover in the next few days whether goal ace Lance Smith will remain an Evesham United player after an approach from Hednesford Town.

The Robins manager admits he faces some sleepless nights awaiting Smith’s response to a seven-day approach by the Evo-Stik Northern Premier side.

Collicutt has given Hednesford boss Liam McDonald, the former Redditch United manager, permission to speak to the forward, who made it five goals in three matches after netting in the impressive 3-1 midweek home win against Yate Town.

However, he hopes Smith will commit himself to the Robins. With Evesham having no game on Saturday because scheduled opponents Winchester City are in the FA Cup, he expects a decision over the weekend before the Robins head to Leamington on Tuesday for a Southern League Challenge Cup first round tie.

“We’ve come across Liam (McDonald) with Redditch, playing them in the final of the Worcestershire Senior Cup, the FA Cup and the FA Trophy and Lance, in fairness, has done well against them,” said Collicutt.

“I would like to think Lance will stay – I would be very sorry to see him leave – but I won’t know until Lance tells me: ‘I’m staying’.

“The one thing I’ve learned in football is that you can’t taken anything for granted. I will be sleeping uneasily until he says ‘I’m going nowhere’.”

Collicutt says, regardless of yes or no, he wants to know Smith’s decision as soon as possible after an approach by Stourbridge last season had a detrimental effect.

Smith finally rejected their interest but Collicutt felt it was a negative experience.

“With Stourbridge’s interest, Lance’s game was all over the place for a spell,” he said. “But it was really pleasing to see how he played against Yate.

“The lads played particularly well in the first 45 minutes and Lance was one of the 11 that certainly had a big impact. When he went off, he was given a standing ovation and he thoroughly deserved it.”

Evesham’s midweek win was their third in a row and they have scored 11 goals and conceded just one in that run to move into fifth place in Southern League Division One South & West.

After the second half super shows to sink Bridgwater Town and Paulton Rovers, it was a rip-roaring first 45 minutes which set up Tuesday’s win at the Jubilee Stadium.

After Paul Fahy, Nick Stanley and Elliot Kennedy netted at Paulton on Saturday, three different players were also on target against Yate – Adam Mann, Smith and Liam Harding.

“The goals are being dished out around the squad which is great,” added Collicutt. “The performance thoroughly deserved the win.

“The only disappointment was conceding a goal in the 94th minute which was the first goal we have conceded in four games.”

Collicutt will allow the players a day off for Saturday – although the boss will be out scouting – and he will look to shuffle his squad for the trip to Leamington.

Stanley dislocated his finger after coming on as a substitute against Yate and ended up in hospital, but he is expected to be fit to face the Brakes.

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