Horsham head coach Nick Stocker drew positives from his side’s display in losing heavily to league leaders Medway.
One downside for the home side was the sending-off of Richard Tredgett late on for making an illegal tackle that they will now have to wait and see if he faces an RFU ban.
After going 7-0 behind, the Green and Whites scored an early try through Nick Bell following a good line-out maul but it was unconverted from out wide at 5-7.
They then conceded a penalty which was successful before conceding a second try as they ran out of defenders while James Johnson was sin-binned.
Some missed Horsham tackles allowed another unconverted Medway try to forge a 27-5 lead at half-time.
In the second half, Medway scored three more tries, two of which were converted and scored from a penalty.
Stocker said: “I was very pleased with the way the guys played. The only reason we lost was we leaked eight tries and our defending was an issue, it wasn’t the best.
“The opposition coaches were very complimentary about the way we played. There were large parts of the game we dominated.
“Medway were much more clinical in the way they attacked. It was tough as we were up against a team which was relegated through administration, so they’re used to playing at a higher level.
“They are a good side which executes their plans very well. Our physicality was very good - there was quality in our contact play and scrum.
“However Medway scored twice just before half-time and that took the gloss off it.
“In the second half we scored one try (by Jordan Smith, converted by Tom Johnson) and just missed another (by Johnny Whiting) which could have put a different complexion on it.”
Tredgett’s sending-off came with ten minutes left and it has only been interpreted as a red card offence since the New Year.
Stocker said: “By the letter of the law I would have to agree with the decision.
“Richard used his shoulder to strike the head of an opponent and it is not clear yet if a long six-week ban will follow - it will be up to the Sussex RFU to decide.
“It was an identical incident to one involving Saracens’ Richard Barrington in their 13-13 Premiership draw with Exeter. There was no ban following the issue so let’s hope this will set a precedent.”
Horsham: N.Bell, Pirt, Barber, Goward, R.Tredgett, M.Tredgett, J.Smith, Whiting, J.Johnson, T.Johnson (capt), Grant, Ordidge, J.Bell, Crook, W.Bell. Subs: O’Rahilly, Gonzague, Grantham-Hill.