Horsham YMCA held league leaders Chichester City to a 1-1 draw in the Southern Combination League Premier Division thanks to an early goal by Ollie Gill.
It was the former Horsham and Loxwood player’s third goal in two games and shows he is in the sort of form which could soon put him among the division’s topscorers.
Chichester levelled midway through the first half in a hard-fought, high quality game in which the two sides were evenly matched.
YMCA pushed hard to win at the end but it ended up all-square in what was a fair result.
The Gorings Mead club were helped having lost midfield star Joe Shelley and Kieron Pamment, who had transferred to Horsham and Worthing respectively.
Manager Pete Buckland was also without the unavailable key defender Dean Carden.
Buckland said: “We had around 200 people watching a high-standard game. The official figure was conservative.
“It was thoroughly entertaining and very competitive.
“I think most people from both sides would agree it was a very even game.
“To play so well against the side which started the game at the top of the table was a confidence boost - we more than held our own.”
YMCA played an attacking 3-4-1-2 system while Chichester also played three at the back in a 3-5-2.
YM made a great start, taking the lead in only the third minute when Brad Evans crossed, the ball was only half-cleared and Gill side-stepped a defender before planting the ball on the bottom left corner.
Sam Schaaf hit a low, hard shot which looked like it was heading for a second goal but he was denied through a worldy save by the opposing ‘keeper.
Chichester equalised on 24 minutes when Josh Clark supplied David Herbert and he scored from six yards.
The game then remained a stalemate until half-time.
YM then dominated possession in the first 15 minutes of the second half.
However Chichester went so close to taking the lead when an audacious lob hit the crossbar.
In the closing stages YM had good chances to grab the winner, firstly Schaaf got through but his shot was smothered by the City custodian.
Then in the final minute Dave Brown had an attempt which bobbled over the crossbar.
YM are due to be in action again tonight (Tuesday) when they host Crawley Down Gatwick in the local derby clash.
This Saturday they travel to fourth-placed Saltdean United.
Horsham YMCA: A.Jeal, Cook, Gilbert (Dugdale 60), Harding, Curtis, Humphreys (Cave 68), Gedling, Evans, Gill, Schaaf, Brown
Unused subs: Shipton, Godfrey, C.Jeal