SLOUGH captain Max Miles has admitted the Greenies choked under pressure in a must-win game after a 28-20 defeat against Reading on Saturday, writes Rob Stevens.

The Greenies are battling against relegation from Southern Counties North this season and their chances of survival appeared set for a boost as they led their Berkshire rivals 15-8 at half-time.

Both Ignacio Lopez and George Wells touched down at Tamblyn Fields, with Miles on target with a conversion and a penalty kick.

However, the home side switched off in the second period and an unconverted try scored by Craig Fullicks was not enough to avoid a fifth straight defeat.

Miles bemoaned to the Observer: "This defeat is probably harder to take than the others because we didn't even get a bonus point.

"For the first 20 minutes, we tore Reading apart and they couldn't live with, or get near us. We were 15-3 ahead after 20-odd minutes and it was all looking good for us.

"We were in the driving seat with the momentum but could've done without half-time.

"We thought it would be more of the same in the second-half but that it was just going to happen rather than us actually working for it.

"We choked and the pressure of being ahead in a must-win got to us so we couldn't sustain the pressure on Reading.

"We have proven time and time again that we've got the skills set and ability to cope with teams in this league but the mental side is letting us down.

"We had a brilliant two weeks of preparation, including the performance against Marlow, but something is stopping us from performing for 80 minutes."

The defeat sees Slough remain second from bottom in the table but now 11 points behind Reading in 10th position.

Miles admits the Greenies have got some work to do in order to avoid relegation, starting with a trip across Berkshire to Reading Abbey this Saturday.

He explained they are more focused on picking up bonus points wherever possible rather than targeting matches for wins.

He explained: "It is going to be tough for us now and it's not in our hands anymore, so we've got a hell of a lot of work to do to stay in this league.

"Had we beaten Reading we would've taken the gap down to two points, but we've lost and now need to pick-up wins against the better sides.

"We've not sat down and targeted any games in particular but each week is like a cup final for us now.

"If we aim to score four tries in every match then the chances are we will pick up a couple of wins along they way, but we've got to get at least a bonus point or two. If we can't win then we will try to get bonus points here and there."

Miles added: "We've now played Littlemore and Reading twice and we feel we should have done better against Reading Abbey earlier in the season, so that's another game we will be targeting for a win.

"They're a mid-table team and not too far away from us in the table, and when they came to us earlier in the season we ran them close.

"Two late tries put some gloss on the result for them then so we feel we can compete against them."