EVESHAM United manager Paul Collicutt bids to break his opening-day duck with victory at Larkhall Athletic on Saturday (3pm), writes John Dolan.

The Robins reached the play-offs last season, finishing fifth in Evo-Stik Southern League Division One South and West.

United bowed out in the semi-finals to Salisbury in a dramatic extra-time defeat.

They hope to improve further on their solid campaign.

Collicutt said: “This is my fourth season now at the club and I’m yet to win on the opening day so hopefully we can win this weekend.

"I feel as though the squad is stronger this time round and pre-season has been encouraging.”

The final friendly was a 4-1 beating of Dorchester Town with signing James Campbell scoring.

He is one of seven new players at United, joining Nick Hancock, Matt Bennett, Greg Peel, Nick Rhodes, Matt Liddiard and Jordan Lymn.

United beat Larkhall twice last season but Collicutt is still wary of the opposition.

He continued: “Larkhall is always a difficult place to go.

"The pitch should be better this year as we normally play them in winter and it can be heavy.”

To add to the challenge five players are missing this weekend.

Captain Linden Dovey, forward Mark Magee and defender Lymn are all away on holidays.

Defender Nick Rhodes is injured and midfielder Ashley Williams suspended.

Evesham plan to generate momentum from their win at Dorchester who finished mid-table in the Premier Division last season.

“We had a good game against Dorchester. Everyone got minutes so everyone should be fresh against Larkhall,” said Collicutt.

“We are training twice this week, Tuesday and Thursday, so will be fully prepared for the opening game.

"As good as pre-season was every manager up and down the country will be hoping to get a good start.”

Evesham start their Jubilee Stadium fixtures at home to relegated Cinderford Town next Wednesday (7.45pm).