NEIL BAKER has admitted that Slough Town were not good enough in a 2-1 defeat to Kettering Town on Saturday.

The Rebels had impressed in an unbeaten pre-season campaign, winning their last six matches, but they could not turn that form into points on the opening day of the new season.

Kettering captain Brett Solkhon gave his side the lead with a header on 27 minutes, before Ben Milnes doubled the advantage with a breakaway goal in the final minute.

Substitute James Dobson pulled one back in the first minute of time added on but Slough failed to draw level at Arbour Park and, according to Baker, suffered a deserved defeat.

The Rebels joint-manager told the Observer: “It’s disappointing and quite clear we didn’t turn up at all in the first half.

“As we say, pre-season counts for absolutely nothing. We had a great pre-season but started with a loss, and it was deserved.

“I just don’t quite think we got ourselves in the game. We didn’t pass the ball well enough and had good players making simple mistakes. It was just one of those days and we have to put it behind us.

“Leagues are not won and lost on the first day and it’s an unfortunate start. We have now got to go to Gosport on Tuesday (7.45pm) and try and recover it really.

“You have days when things don’t necessarily go right but that is football.

“In the first half, we were slow to do things and they won all the second balls in midfield. We had a man extra in midfield and didn’t capitalise.

“We said at half-time you’ve got to earn the right to play in football, it doesn’t just happen naturally, and we got what we deserved, especially in the first half.

“I thought we were better in the second half, we created a few more chances.

“We opened ourselves up a little bit by going three at the back to try and rescue something from the game .

“We didn’t have lots of chances, we have had a few, and not got ourselves back on level terms.

“If we had got ourselves back on level terms the confidence would have come back and we might have gone on and won it, but we didn’t deserve to.”

Baker continued: “We looked brighter in the second-half. It was touch and go for Manny (Williams), he was coming back from injury and had a good end to pre-season.”

“We just wanted to be a little bit tighter, not go gung-ho as such and try to just play our way into the game but, unfortunately, where we were looking to keep the ball in midfield, we didn’t do it.

“If you’re not keeping the ball there is no point in having three in there [midfield].

“We decided at half-time we were not playing well enough so we brought Manny on. He’s obviously a clever player and we created a few more chances, but we were still not great.

“It was just a disappointing day.”

He added: “We just were not good enough on the day. We didn’t work hard enough to win the first and second balls which win you games of football, and the basics we did not do right. We didn’t keep the ball when we had opportunities to do so.

“It was just a bad day, so you just have to shrug it off and start our season on Tuesday. It’s annoying because we know we’ve got a good side but it was just one of those days.

“Myself and Jon Underwood, this is our seventh season together, and it’s our second defeat on the first day of the season. The last time we did it we got promoted so it’s not the end of the world.”

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