Horsham player/manager Gary Charman reckoned a penalty decision which went against his side at the start of the second half turned the match.
He said: “We started slowly but grew into the game. We gave them the first goal - just an individual error. We had three or four good chances and should have gone in at least level-pegging.
“A penalty decision at the start of the second half has ruined the game. They’re a great side they’ve got fantastic players, pace all over. but that’s a penalty and a sending-off and it completely changes the game. The referee has got that wrong and it has cost us dearly.
“The right back who committed the offence (Aaron Goode) has said it is the clearest penalty appeal he has seen and was surprised he was still on the pitch.
“They had a lot of possession in their own half and had six chances and scored four. We had six chances and scored none. Not only that but we didn’t hit the target I think their goallie made one save.
“We’re not clinical enough in front of goal. If you make as many chances as that and don’t score you have a problem.”
Making his first start of the season Charman played himself up from defence to partner Jamie Ampleford up front to fill the gap created by the absence of both Jamie Cade and Max Miller.
He revealed: “I wanted to be able to win a few things to get us into the final third which we done very well in the first half.
“The penalty incident properly deflated the team because they went on and scored at the other end. We gave away a couple of goals through sloppy defending but for me it was all on that one decision which the referee got wrong.
“Byron Napper’s centre half defending was brilliant with Gilbert and I thought we defended quite well as a team.”
Charman praised: “Ross Morley never stopped working and has really stepped it up this year. I’ve given him the captain’s armband today and he really deserved the Man of the Match and if we’d put away some of our chances he might have been a winning captain rather than a losing captain!”
Horsham host Hythe Town at Gorings Mead on Tuesday night.
Charman said: “We are still going to be short of numbers on Tuesday night with one player returning. I am going to speak to some players with the aim of bringing someone in over the next couple of weeks.”