Horsham YMCA manager Peter Buckland has admitted that lessons will be learned from their recent struggles for form.
The boss has revealed he wishes he signed more reinforcements earlier in the season to help cope with the run-in.
YM tasted their first win in seven games on Tuesday - edging out Broadbridge Heath 2-1 at the Leisure Centre - a run that has seen their promotion dream crumble.
Before their recent poor form, they had won eight consecutive games, conceding just once, to sit pretty at the top of the Premier Division table. They now occupy fourth place with no chance of finishing in the top-two with Haywards Heath and Three Bridges out in front and battling for the title.
It is widely believed that an extra promotion spot will be available this season, so second will go up, and there were even pre-season murmurings of third also, although nothing has yet been confirmed.
Buckland seems resigned that they will miss out on going up, despite restructuring further up the leagues, and wishes he had made more signings in February.
On if lessons will be learned, he said: “Absolutely. Going back to when we were top of the league, I knew there were going to be plenty more twists and turns and I knew that we had quite a few players struggling with injuries.
“What I should have done was to take action and sign a few more players. I had at times, five key players out. On reflection, I was a bit naive. In February, I should have signed two or three reinforcements. That’s the lesson I learned and it won’t happen again.”