GOALS from Paul Sullivan, Lee Chilton and Harry Franklin could not save Evesham United from suffering a 5-3 defeat at play-off rivals Paulton Rovers as the Robins’ top five ambitions suffered a further setback.
Evesham twice hauled themselves level after falling behind to Edward Butcher’s first half brace, but a David Sims-Burgess double in the second half and a further goal from Marcus Day put the match beyond the visitors despite Franklin’s strike with 20 minutes remaining before the hosts’ Braeden Symes was sent off.
United’s third defeat in a row – during which time they have conceded 12 goals – leaves them with much to do in the second half of the campaign but boss Carl Abbott believes a top five finish is still not beyond his side.
United are now seventh in Southern League Division One South after Saturday’s defeat but trail the fourth and fifth-placed sides by three points having played three games more than both.
However, speaking on Twitter before Saturday’s home game against Cinderford Town, Abbott was remaining upbeat.
He said: “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.”