Horsham suffered their sixth defeat of the season away to Blackheath and Elthamians as they were scuppered by a stand-out showing from the home goalkeeper.
But for a man of the match performance by the Blackheath keeper, Horsham would have happily driven back around the M25 on Saturday three points better off, having won this game by two or three goals.
However, sometimes a standout performance takes the honours. Horsham will feel aggrieved not to have bought home at least a point, although they should really have had all three.
The away side welcomed back coach Dom Male for a rare cameo appearance and he will have been delighted with the way his side performed.
They were the better team all over the park and made the majority of the chances.
Equally importantly, they played with great discipline – the umpires gave an extremely physical Blackheath team a raft of cards that put their players in the sin-bin and, at times, saw them down to nine men.
Unfortunately, the keeper stayed on. This was a great game of hockey for the spectator, played at full tilt, with no quarter asked for by either side.
Horsham bought the guile, Blackheath bought the muscle, and the first half was cut and thrust throughout.
The visitors had most of the attacking play and asked questions of the home keeper from both open play and short corners.
But Blackheath scored first, poor marking in the Horsham D giving the keeper little chance.
With normal flicker Sean Pearcy subbed off for a breather, Tim Upchurch was on duty for the next Horsham short corner and roofed it past the keeper, letting the teams turn around 1-1 at half-time.
Horsham pressed hard after the break.
Upchurch put in another amazing flick only to see the home keeper get a stick on it and deflect it not only over the bar but out of the park.
Another Pearcy flick looked certain to be buried, but again the keeper got enough stick on it to deflect it past the post.
And so it continued.
As manager Al Campbell said after the game: “All of our forwards had shots on target, but no matter what we threw at him, the keeper had a blinder and just kept on getting in the way.”
As the game progressed it was apparent that one goal would settle things.
Unfortunately for Horsham it fell to Blackheath to convert a short corner and take the points against the run of play.
Horsham must surely be due a change in fortune and will hope it comes this Saturday at Christ’s Hospital when they host London Academicals at 1pm.