SLOUGH skipper Bobby Sher was trying to look to the positives after his side slipped to a disappointing 29-run defeat against Harefield on Saturday.

But the former Buckinghamshire all-rounder admitted his side cannot afford any further slip-ups, or their Home Counties Division Two West title hopes will be over.

Bowling first on home soil Slough restricted their visitors to just 218. But in reply the top order failed to fire again as they were skittled for 189.

Sher said: "We were disappointed with that really because we felt we had bowled well to get them out for that score.

"But the fact is that only one of our top six put up any kind of score, and even he gave his wicket away when he got into the 40s.

"We only finished 30 runs short in the end, which just shows what we could have done if someone had got a score.

"We are nine or 10 games into the season and we haven't really batted well at all. That has got to change.

"I can't really explain it to be honest. We are getting ourselves out with weak dismissals rather than making it difficult for the bowlers.

"We will have a strong chat about it this week. And if we think we need to make changes, we will make changes." Slough got off to a good start with the ball as Mohammed Tahla removed opener James Hammerton for just six runs. And when Ikhlaq Nawaz removed Ollie Wilson soon after Harefield looked in trouble at 26-2.

However this brought Akshay Reddy to the middle and he produced a solid knock of 57 to guide the visitors to a decent score.

Jack Shiel (25), Ollie Richards (14), Zimbabwean international Mluleki Nkala (26) and Luc Baldwin (28) all stayed with him as Harefield posted 218.

Pakistan paceman Tahla took his best figures since his Slough debut with 4-51, while wicketkeeper Shazad Rana put in an inspired display with the gloves, taking six catches.

In response Slough got off to a poor start with Fahim Quereshi (2), Shaan Khan (9) and Karan Kumar (10) all going cheaply before Sher (16) and Tahla (2) followed them back to the pavillion as they limped to 64-5.

Duncan Bradshaw (42) inspired a lower order revival with Vishal Aeri (26) and Rana (33*) also chipping to give the Upton Park outfit a sniff of victory.

But when Aeri and Bradshaw fell, no-one was able to stay with Rana as Slough were skittled for a disappointing 189.

Despite the defeat, Sher refused to write off his side's title challenge. He said: "Mohammed Thala made an early breakthrough and bowled very well. Shazad Rana took six catches, which is a rarity, and then we batted well. There are still positives to take.

"The good thing is that it is a really close league. Everyone is beating everyone, so it is still wide open. I think we will have to win five out of our last eight games to win the league now.

"It is a tall order, but if you want to get promoted in a league where only one goes up you have to produce something special."