Horsham’s men returned from their winter break to take on higher league Brighton in the cup on Sunday.
In what was their first outdoor game for just under a month, visitors Horsham led 1-0 and had chances to double their tally but eventually went down 3-2 to crash out.
The side pressed Brighton for the full 70 minutes, and leading 1-0 hit the post shortly afterwards which could have made it 2-0.
Brighton got back in to the game through some well-worked penalty corners and despite a second Horsham goal, Brighton scored a third and hung on.
Horsham’s goal-scorers were Jack Dean and Matthew Hough.
Horsham skipper Duncan Howarth said: “It was really pleasing to put in such a competitive performance in our first game back after Xmas, and what was also encouraging is we tried out a new formation in this game and everyone adapted to it really well.
“There were a number of very good performances in the Horsham ranks - it was evident that the guys had been putting the work in over the break, which is really promising leading into our first league game against Marlow this week.”
And looking ahead to the weekend Howarth added: “Going back into league mode, we were disappointed to drop some of the points that we did in the first half of the season and we’re really looking forward to improving in the remaining 11 games.
“With it being so tight, every game is so important and we are determined to get off to a good start on Saturday.”