MANAGER Carl Abbott believes better times are not far ahead for Evesham United after their poor run continued.

The off-form Robins dropped to seventh in BetVictor Southern League Division One South after a 5-3 defeat at fellow top-five challengers Paulton Rovers.

A see-saw encounter last Saturday saw Ed Butcher and David Sims-Burgess both bag braces for Rovers with Marcus Day adding their final goal in the 67th minute.

Paul Sullivan, Lee Chilton and Harry Franklin replied for Evesham.

Rovers were reduced to 10 men late on with a red card for Braeden Symes.

Abbott, who replaced the long-serving Paul Collicutt as boss in the summer, said on Twitter: “Absolutely gutted at Evesham losing, a tough trot we are on.

“Shoots of recovery there. I thought in many ways we looked much more like ourselves on Saturday, played with personality and were dangerous going forward but some frailties have crept in at the back that we need to iron out.

“It’s an unforgiving fixture list whilst we put things back together and with two key players still to return shortly I’m as confident as ever it will turn around sooner rather than later.

“Thanks for your support and patience. It’s appreciated by me and the lads.”

The Robins twice levelled in the first half with a quick first equaliser and then another just before the break.

But Evesham went 5-2 down to their fourth-placed opposition in the second period before bagging a late consolation.

They have lost their last three league games to slip down the table and conceded 12 goals in the process.

The longer-term form sees just two wins from 10 league fixtures which both arrived before Christmas when the bottom two Basingstoke Town and Barnstaple Town were seen off 3-1 and 2-0 respectively.

On Saturday Evesham host Cinderford Town, who are three places and five points behind with four games in hand, at the Jubilee Stadium (3pm).

Cinderford lost 5-3 at Gloucestershire rivals Cirencester Town last weekend.

Evesham: Robertson, Franklin, Maslen-Jones, Paddock, Roberts, Cresswell, Tonge, Bragoli, Sullivan, Chilton, Page. Subs: Staten, Chamberlain, O’Neill, McMahon.

Attendance: 103.