12:22PM, Friday 15 April 2022
Slough Town joint boss Jon Underwood (right) would have preferred to see his side get back to winning ways over Eastbourne Borough, but he hasn’t underestimated the value of avoiding another defeat.
On Saturday, the Rebels held the National League South play-off contenders to a 2-2 draw at Arbour Park, with Alfie Anderson scoring on his senior debut and Kurtis Cumberbatch also netting his first in Amber and Blue.
It’s a good point for Underwood and his men on reflection, with the boss pleased to see his side make amends for their heavy 5-0 loss to Dorking Wanderers (April 2) and bring a halt to their two-game losing streak.
“We had a good week in training trying to put Dorking behind us and I guess reset our standards on the pitch,” said Underwood.
“It was important not to lose again. The danger is you go and lose the next couple and it becomes a real crisis. Fortunately, we put in a positive performance, and I think it goes down as a good point.
“Eastbourne were probably the form team in the league going into the game, they had won six in a row. Meanwhile, we had a couple of issues before kick-off [due to injury and illness].
“We ended up giving a debut to young Alfie Anderson. He’s another player who has come through our U23 system and he got a goal. Kurtis then scored later. There ended up being some real positives to take from the game.
“Obviously we wanted to win, but after two defeats, it was important to stop that run, and I think it feels like a step in the right direction before the Easter weekend.”
The Rebels are due to visit Tonbridge today (Friday) before welcoming Hemel Hempstead to home turf on Monday.
Underwood isn't fazed by the quick turnaround, however, and he’s optimistic of securing three points in at least one of the fixtures.
Speaking ahead of the match against the Angels, Underwood said: “We beat them 2-1 at home earlier in the season. They are a team just below us in the table, who have been fighting to avoid dropping down into a relegation battle.
“Neil (Baker) and I know their manager, Steve McKimm, well. We played with him briefly at Farnborough and he’s a very competitive guy.
“Tonbridge is not an easy place to go so I anticipate a very close and tightly-fought game which could go either way. Hopefully, we can have a good day and come out on top.
“We’re then in action again on Monday and it’s really no different to playing Saturday and then Tuesday but I’m sure we will use the squad a little bit.
“We’re actually getting some good numbers back now and one or two are coming back from injury so we will have some decisions to make.
“I’m sure we will put out two different sides, and certainly make some changes between the two games.
“We’re coming to the end of the season and we need players to show what they can do. I don’t want our season to fizzle out. We’re still very focused on getting results.”
On where he hopes the Rebels can finish, Underwood added: “I think if we can get up a couple of places, somewhere mid-table or in the top half, that would be a reasonable season for us.
“We’ve had a lot of change this season and we are a team in transition. The teams we are putting out at the moment are very different to what we were at the start of the season. There are quite a few players who have moved on, and we are in a very competitive league.
“Along with a lot of other clubs, we were hoping to sneak into those play offs but we’ve just not been able to do that.”
Paramedics were called to the scene of a medical emergency in Maidenhead on Monday morning (June 27).