05:00PM, Thursday 25 November 2021
Slough Town didn't get anywhere near the levels they've shown in recent weeks as Eastbourne Borough brought their five-match unbeaten run to an end with a 3-1 victory on Saturday.
Charley Kendall scored a hat-trick as the hosts ran out deserved winners, with Ben Harris replying with a late consolation for the visitors.
The Rebels travelled to the South Coast having won four and drawn one of their last five matches and teams had found it incredibly difficult to break them down during this period.
But Borough's Kendall was clinical when chances fell his way and Slough's defending was uncharacteristically sloppy. It was no better further up the field with the side spurning a host of decent openings from set-pieces, another element of their game that Underwood didn't feel was up to scratch.
They did find the net in the final minutes when Harris headed home well from a right-wing cross but having allowed Eastbourne to score their second and third goals in a particularly 'ragged' spell, they were chasing a lost cause.
Speaking with Slough FM's Ade Gomm after the game, Underwood said: “We definitely weren’t at the levels we’ve been at today.
“We can’t go anywhere in this league and drop below the levels that we’ve set and expect to win the game.
“I thought Eastbourne played well today, they deserved to win the game.
“We’ve been talking when we’ve been winning about fine margins, and I think you have to say the same when you lose at times. We started the game well and Ben (Harris) had a great chance early on. We also had a lot of opportunities from set pieces.
“it’s what we’re good at and we had countless opportunities from throws and corners but they defended them really well to be fair.
“We were disappointed because that’s a way to get you a goal even when you’re not at your best.
“With the number of long throws and corners we had today, I would have expected us to score from one of them and we didn’t.
“They showed more quality in the final third than we did.
“The boy Charley Kendall up front was excellent for them, very quick, but the goals were disappointing from our point of view.
“In the second half we grew into it, and we were having plenty of attacks. If we’d equalised then, no one could have said we didn’t deserve it.
“But then they break away and score their second and I didn’t like the next 15 minutes.
“I thought we got ragged and made some poor decisions on the ball.”
The home side took the lead after 10 minutes, when Kendall latched onto a long ball and fired past Jonathan North. Slough passed up chances to level the scores before Kendall made it 2-0 in the 75th minute from Jaden Perez's pass. He then gobbled up the chance to score his hat-trick in the 80th minute when North spilled Perez's effort from outside the area.
The Rebels will get the chance to respond to Saturday's below par display when they host Havant & Waterlooville in the second round of the FA Trophy on Saturday.
They're then in county cup action a few days later when they visit former tenants Beaconsfield Town in the Berks & Bucks Senior Cup (November 29), before getting back to league action with a winnable looking home game against Tonbridge Angels at Arbour Park on Saturday, December 4.
The busy week of cup and league football should give fans an indication of how this side reacts to a disappointing, and unexpected, defeat.
“Good runs do come to an end, and we need to just get back on the horse,” said Underwood.
“We can’t get overly despondent and will try to learn from it and start another run.
“We’ve been hard to create chances against recently, but we weren’t today. We looked a bit more open and fragile and that’s disappointing.”