Horsham manager Dominic Di Paola was ‘more than happy with their work’ in their 2-2 home draw with ten-man Carshalton Athletic in the BetVictor Premier Division on Tuesday.
An action-packed end to the first half saw Omar Koroma put the Robins in front from the spot before Chris Smith and Charlie Harris struck to give the Hornets a half-time lead.
But the visitors were much improved in the second half and levelled through Bobby Price.
Carshalton’s Jordan Cheadle was sent off at the death after being shown a second yellow.
Leaders Horsham moved a point clear of second-placed Folkestone Invicta although the Hornets have played a game more.
Di Paola said: “We’re more than happy with our work on the night.
“At times we had to deal with their threats but we caused them some problems.
“We’ve got to be happy. We can’t ask for too much more than what we did.
“They finished second last year and Hornchurch on Saturday were another one of the favourites. You’ve got to bear in mind that George Hayward hasn’t played much football recently, neither has Rob O’Toole.
“Smudge (Smith) had a problem with his groin.
“We had no Will Miles, no Lea Dawson, no Kieran Lavery so I think it was a good result.
“We’ll come away with lots of positives.”
Carshalton had the ball in the back on the half-hour mark. Koroma leapt highest to head home from a corner but the referee blew for a push by the forward.
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But six minutes later the Robins did have a goal.
Tommy Bradford burst into the area but was brought down by Alex Kelly.
Up stepped Koroma and he coolly slotted home the penalty.
The Hornets needed only five minutes to level.
Harvey Sparks swung a ball into the box to Smith, who swept home to equalise.
And two minutes before half-time, Horsham completed the turnaround.
Harris showed great strength to muscle his way to the edge of the area before unleashing a driven shot.
Keeper Kelton Perntreou got a hand to it but the ball zipped into the bottom corner to give the Hornets the lead at the break.
The Robins had been gradually turning the screw in the second half and equalised on 77 minutes under slightly fortuitous circumstances.
Bentley looked to have Ricky Korboa’s cross under control but the keeper spilt the ball into the path of Price, who tucked home from two-yards.
Four minutes from time Horsham spurned a superb chance to snatch another last-gasp win. O’Toole’s perfectly weighted cross found Kieron Pamment at the far post but his attempt flew high and wide.
There was still time for more drama as Cheadle was shown a second yellow card at the death for a foul on O’Toole.