Horsham YMCA boss Pete Buckland ‘couldn’t have asked for any more’ from his side as they fell to a 2-1 away defeat to table topping Chichester City.
A Scott Jones double, including a late winner, consigned YM to their first defeat of the season after Dan Mobsby had drawn the visitors level.
Despite the loss, Buckland was proud of his team’s display in the Southern Combination Premier Division clash.
He said: “Normally I’m not a good person to live with when we’ve lost a game of football.
“I tend to go home and walk my dogs to clear my head, I’m a sore loser.
“The minute after the final whistle I was fine, I felt it was a good performance despite getting nothing.
“It’s the manner of defeat that can leave you a bit deflated but I couldn’t have asked for any more and I said to the lads if they carry on like that you’ll certainly win a lot more games than you lose.
“YM couldn’t have played any better, as Chichester are at the moment they couldn’t have played any better, it was a total locking of horns.
“Six points out of a possible nine is nothing to lose any sleep over.”
In a cagey opening, both sides had chances with the best YM opportunity falling to Tony Nwachukwu but it was the hosts who took the lead.
YM keeper Aaron Jeal punched a Jimmy Wild cross but it found Jones who sent Chichester ahead on 27 minutes.
After this setback the visitors mounted several attacks but with no luck before the end of the half.
The second half saw YM continue their good attacking spell and they were rewarded when Mobsby’s long range effort found the net on 68 minutes.
Tony Garrod saw a free kick fizz over the bar before Jones got on the end of another Wild cross to put Chichester ahead with just two minutes left.
The visitors could have snatched a leveller at the death but Guy Harding was denied by the post.
Horsham YMCA return to FA Cup action as they travel to Ashford United in the preliminary round on Saturday, before taking on Loxwood at home in the league on Monday.
Before this set of fixtures, YM travel to third-placed Saltdean United in the league on Tuesday evening.
YM: Jeal, Carden (Donaghey 87’), Evans, Gilbert, Harding, Nwachukwu (Schaaf 66’), Gill (Donaldson 46’), Dugdale, Garrod, Mobsby, Barbary. Unused: Gedling, Cave.