SLOUGH Town joint-manager Jon Underwood has urged his side to bounce back after they fell to a 2-1 New Year's Day defeat at National League South table-toppers Wealdstone.

Rebels had enjoyed a productive festive period having beaten the same opponents 2-1 on Boxing Day and securing a point from a 1-1 draw with Hemel Hempstead two days later.

But a tough week ended in disappointment as they could not recover from a 2-0 half-time deficit.

Michee Efete put the home side in front inside two minutes before Ross Layafette doubled the advantage on the half-hour mark.

And while Ryan Bird gave the visitors a lifeline when heading home Max Worsfold's cross in the 81st minute, Rebels could not force an equaliser.

Reflecting on the game, Underwood said: "It was a nightmare start and it put their tails up, but after that goal I thought we responded quite well.

"We grew into the game and had a few half chances and some decent possession, and until the second goal went in I thought we looked on course to get back into the game.

"We had a feeling at 2-1 that if we got another good chance we'd take it and it felt like one of those days where momentum had come back our way.

"But we just didn't really have that one clear opportunity and we probably couldn't have done an awful lot more in terms of getting attacking players on the pitch, but our effort was first class as always."

He continued: "Both goals were not great defensively from us, we just weren't tight enough, and we got a little bit ragged with a few players making uncharacteristic mistakes.

"On the balance of play we probably can't argue we fell just short."

Following a busy festive period Slough now sit fifth in the table, and Underwood commented: "We had two close games over Christmas with Wealdstone which we expected – they're a good side and we're a good side.

"We had players who have played three in a week and run themselves into the ground and it just wasn't quite enough.

"We're feeling now what they felt on Boxing Day, but it is what it is – we can't get hung up on it.

"We've had two defeats in 19 (league games) which is a tremendous record and the important thing is how we respond. This result isn't a problem if we can bounce back and get three points against Eastbourne (tomorrow, 3pm).

"We can't get upset by the odd defeat because it's going to come."

Underwood was also quick to praise his side's fans after they attracted a crowd of more than 1,300 on Boxing Day and took a vast travelling contingent to Wealdstone.

He said: "Our support was brilliant, we had great numbers again. It would have been great to have rewarded that support with a draw, but I'm sure they'll stick with us through thick and thin."