The Hawks disappointingly exited the FA Trophy against Dover on Tuesday night – but at least manager Lee Bradbury identified one positive to take from the experience.
Central-defender Jordan Rose has had his season interrupted by a injury.
Yet his rugged defensive display against The Whites proved he’s getting back to his best for the Westleigh Park outfit.
Starting the season as first choice in the Hawks’ back four, the former Whitehawk player was an automatic choice for the first eight National League games of the season.
A hamstring tear, however, kept him out of action for six weeks – before a second problem on his comeback resulted in more time on the sidelines.
To aid his recovery, Rose went on loan to Weymouth.
Now back at Westleigh Park, the defender is keen to put his injury problems behind him and re-establish himself as a Hawks regular.
'I had a really good pre-season and felt that I was fitter than I have ever been,' said Rose.
'Our performances were good without getting the results we deserved.
'Then I picked up a little hamstring tear which kept me out for six weeks.
'I came back into the side against Gateshead but then at training the following Thursday it happened again. It was so frustrating.
'Part of my recovery was to go to Weymouth on loan in order to get some game time.
'I had done that the previous season and once again it helped me do what I needed to do to come back and play for the Hawks.
'It was good to take myself away for a little while.
‘I was pleased with how it went against Dover.'
Rose is out of contract at the end of the season and so has a double incentive to do well.
He wants to remain playing at National League level and also wants to impress enough to earn a new contract at Westleigh Park.
To do that he needs to be playing regularly.
'My short-term aim is to get back into the team and help pick up the points that will secure safety,' added Rose.
'If I can do that then I can sit down with the manager and discuss a contract for next season.
'We have shown in our performances that we are good enough to compete at this level.
'It isn't easy because we are competing against full-time sides.
'The step up from Conference South has been a big one.
'You also have some big guns in our league like Leyton Orient, Salford City, Wrexham, Chesterfield and Hartlepool United.
'Orient, for example, are attracting crowds of 5,000 and have a much bigger budget.
'We have more than matched some of these teams.'
The Hawks were without a game this weekend because of their Trophy exit.
They are next in action on Tuesday night when they host Team Solent in the Hampshire Senior Cup at Westleigh Park.