Having fought hard to win promotion to South Premier Division 1, the last thing Horsham really wanted for their first fixture was a team coming down into the division from the National League.
This was always set to be a baptism of fire, to be continued this weekend when they travel to Guildford, also relegated from the league above.
On the basis that last season the teams were playing hockey two divisions apart, many saw this as a task ask for Horsham.
However in a thrilling and fascinating close-fought game, Andrew Isaacs team grew in self-belief and nearly nicked a point.
Setting a high press, Horsham were the better side throughout a cagey first half. There were good saves at both ends but Horsham had the better opportunities.
With no score at half-time it was apparent that the second period would be a game of two defences.
Overall the Horsham defence was organised and impenetrable but, as is so often the case in these matches, the deadlock was broken by a scrappy goal, as a Bromley & Beckenham forward connected with a hopeful lunge 15 minutes from time.
Horsham midfield general Freddie Campbell rallied his troops and for the remainder of the game mounted assault after assault on the visitor’s goal.
They should have had a penalty after John Burroughs was scythed down in the D by the keeper. Joey Humphries was upset not to win a penalty corner after a typically jinking run.
Bromley were clearing their lines in desperation at the final whistle and will have felt they too had a baptism of fire in a division they may well have expected to boss.
Horsham manager Al Campbell was full of praise for his squad and said: “It was without doubt the best performance I’ve ever seen by the boys.
“In particular the defence of Dom Cohen, Dan Humphries, Ollie Yeoman, Andy MacIlwraith and new boy Sam Gill raised the bar to new heights.
“At this higher level we’ve only set our sights on survival and, on this showing, we should be in with a chance.”
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