NEW manager Carl Abbott's reign at Evesham United started with a 1-1 home draw against Paulton Rovers in Southern League Division One South.

But it did not get off to the best of starts as Paulton went ahead when former Evesham player Jake Sloggett's long-range shot gave keeper Reece Francis little chance as it flew into the bottom corner in the 14th minute.

Sporting a revamped squad after long-serving Paul Collicutt's departure, the Robins had created the first chance when Lee Chilton's 14th-minute shot was saved by diving keeper Joe Perry.

Matt Dodd and Dave Reynolds linked up well for United but Rovers threatened again after their goal when Francis denied Ed Butcher who unleashed another effort from distance following a solo run.

Evesham improved with Brad Maslen-Jones, scorer of a spectacular goal in pre-season, almost adding to his account when he nodded over Chilton's corner.

But the Robins were rewarded in first-half injury-time when Reynolds robbed Perry after a long ball and turned to finish in off the post.

Evesham had the better of the early second-half exchanges at the Jubilee Stadium and Jordan Sangha shot just wide from the edge of the box.

Maslen-Jones broke forward before his 30-yard shot went just over.

Perry kept his side in the game when he came out on top in a one-on-one with Dodd on 57 minutes.

Evesham looked the better side but after that only really went close on 83 minutes when Adam Page's shot headed narrowly wide with the keeper looking beaten.

The Robins visit Larkhall Athletic in the league on Wednesday (7.45pm) before hosting Harefield United in the FA Cup preliminary round on Sunday (2pm).

They then welcome Slimbridge in the league on Wednesday (7.45pm).

Evesham: Francis, Roberts, Smikle, Paddock, Maslen-Jones, Cresswell (McGrath 61), Dodd, Bragoli, Reynolds (Magee 79), Chilton, Sangha (Page 73). Subs not used: O’Neill, Till.

Paulton: Perry, Harrison (Gay 55), Sen, Hitchings, Allan, Abraham, Sloggett (Moore 76), Symes, Sims-Burgess, Hillard, Butcher (Lock 88). Subs not used: Shorney, Bayment.

Attendance: 255.