Horsham boss Dominic Di Paola admitted that his side lost to the better team after their 2-0 defeat against Greenwich Borough, but bemoaned a lack of available defenders.
The promotion chasing Cannons came to Culver Road on the back of five Bostik League wins in their last six games and remain unbeaten since their 2-0 reverse fixture defeat against the Hornets in November.
After a goalless first half, Horsham made a positive start after the break but were caught on the break. Chinedu McKenzie fired the visitors in front after being found unmarked by a Nassim Dukali cross.
Borough were presented a golden opportunity to double their lead when the lively Jack Barham was felled by Scott Kirkwood in the box. Barham stepped back up to confidently send Josh Pelling the wrong way and all but end the match as a contest.
The away side held on to give Horsham only their second defeat in the last six South Division matches and Di Paola acknowledged the good performance from their opponents, albeit showing his frustration to see a strong penalty shout from his side waved away.
He said: “Apart from a penalty we should have had, I’ve got no real complaints. They were the better team.
“(The foul on our player) was exactly the same as the penalty they got for the second. It was a foul on Tony (Nwachukwu) in the box, blatant as they come, but it was waved away which was odd.
“It could have made them a bit more nervous and made a bit more of a spectacle in the last 20 minutes.”
Horsham handed a debut to new loan signing Anthony Oak, but Tom Tolfrey had to make do with a place on the bench, while Henry Watson got injured in the warm-up.
Di Paola went on to bemoan the lack of defenders at his disposal for the game but praised his side for the way they performed.
They were without, Charlie Farmer, Joe Shelley, Alex Duncan and Steve Metcalf and Di Paola added: “It was just a lack of defenders as we only had one in our squad Saturday.
“Henry Watson, who’s one of our three signings, pulled up in the warm up, and we had to play two midfielders in our defence.
“Against a side of their quality, you can’t go in with a cobbled together team.
“Although we defended well, we couldn’t play our normal game.
“When not at our absolute best, it’s a struggle to get results in this league.
“I thought we were the better team first half but they came out second half and were much stronger for whatever reason.
“It’s a credit to the boys that if it was earlier in the season, in the same circumstances, we would probably have been hammered.”
Horsham: Pelling, Oaks (Gayler 56), Hyde, Hartley, Nwachukwu, Kirkwood, House (Tolfrey 56), Boswell, Landais, Street, Axell (Adelakun 76). Unused: Rogers, Bown.