TWO goals from Emma O'Nien earned Slough a shock 2-1 win over high-riding Holcombe in the Investec Women's Hockey League on Saturday, writes Dave Wright.

It was their first victory of the season at the sixth attempt and lifted them up to seventh place in the Premier Division standings, their highest position for nearly a year.

Both goals were identical, coming from penalty corners, with O'Nien crashing the ball into the bottom right-hand corner of the net with unerring accuracy.

Wales international keeper Rose Thomas was well beaten on each occasion, though she may have been left unsighted by a colleague running out in a bid to block the ball.

O'Nien, taking her goal tally to three for the season, netted after 12 and 15 minutes to give the Pink and Blacks a dream start against a Holcombe side who came to Upton Court Park having suffered only one defeat in five games.

Slough, however, had suffered an early blow when Kelly Morgan was forced off the field after receiving a painful blow to the back of her knee, which could keep her out of action for a few weeks.

Stunned by those two goals, Holcombe worked hard to get back in the game and it needed a couple of excellent saves by young keeper Mila Welch, backed up by some sound defending, to deny the visitors a goal before half-time.

During the break, coach Kali Takher urged his side not concede early in the second half and try to frustrate Holcombe for as long as possible.

However, it did not quite go to plan as nine minutes in the visitors cut their deficit by half with a goal from England international Steph Elliott.

It gave Holcombe a boost, they upped the tempo and looked the more threatening side, only to come up against a defence that refused to panic, kept its shape and withstood the pressure, which included defending two penalty corners.

Captain Kat McGonigle commented: "It was a long slog to the end, but we defended well and managed to keep them out."

She added: "Obviously, it was a very good result for us. We had been playing well in recent weeks without managing to win, so we're all delighted.

"To beat a very good side like Holcombe is a great confidence boost for us going into the weeks ahead."

Central midfielder Harriet Ward was voted Slough's player of the match.

Slough face a particularly tough November with three of their four fixtures being away.

They travel to Beeston this Saturday, followed by Buckingham a week later. Then it is a home game with Bowdon Hightown on November 17 before a trip to East Grinstead, their last game before the winter break.

"We're not sure why we've been given a lot of away games in the first half of the season, but we shall just have to cope with it," stated McGonigle.

"At the moment we're just concentrating on this weekend and looking forward to going to Beeston. Hopefully, we can pick up at least a point, but the aim is to win there."

Slough men, pointless and bottom of the table, were hammered 7-0 at home by unbeaten leaders Guildford in their Middx, Berks, Bucks & Oxon Premier Two match at Upton Court Park on Saturday.

Ross Fergusson scored a hat-trick, with Gonzalo Ayala, Alex Fitter, Max Greenhaigh and Tylo Remke also netting for the visitors.

This Saturday, Slough travel to third-bottom Blackheath & Elthamians.