Richard Midadje praised Billingshurst for taking ‘a great point against a top side’ after his side played out an entertaining 4-4 home draw with AFC Varndeanians on Saturday in Division 1.
An early strike from Nick Tilley put the hosts ahead before Ollie Blackman instantly equalised.
Joe Keehan and Matt Waterman gave the visitors a half-time lead but a Ben Hands double brought the game back to 3-3 on 75 minutes.
George Warren put Varndeanians ahead just a minute later but Tilley’s second goal, with seven minutes remaining, saw the spoils shared.
Midadje said: “We started great but Vardeanians applied pressure and we struggled to match their experience.
“We gave the ball away in our defensive third on a couple of occasions and only had our keeper Martin Hopkins to thank for making a crucial saves.
“A half-time speech advising our players to admire the opposition’s experience and organisation galvanised the boys to turn in a performance of great potential.
“It was an exciting game and the team showed great effort and composure to not drop their heads. It was a great point against a top side.”
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Hurst opened the scoring on two minutes after a free-kick was knocked down for Tilley to slot home.
The visitors needed just two minutes to respond as Blackman finished from a corner.
Heavy Varndeanians pressure saw a penalty awarded after a shove in the box on 29 minutes, and Keehan duly dispatched the spot-kick.
Three minutes before the break and a good passing move ended with Waterman tucking away to make it 3-1.
Inspired by Midadje’s half-time team talk, Hurst levelled the game up after 75 minutes thanks to Hands’ double-salvo.
The visitors went ahead again just a minute later but, at the death, Tilley was on hand to tap home from six-yards out to bag a point for Midadje’s side.
Billingshurst travel to Southwick on Saturday.
Hurst: Hopkins, Court, Collier, Bowles, Sleat, Luzinda, Beck, Mahadoo, Hands, Tilley, Chadwick. Subs: Kaboggoza, Scarff-Cody.