Horndean have suffered their first defeat since returning to the top flight of the Wessex League.
The Deans went down 2-0 at Bournemouth Poppies last night.
Dave Carter reckons his men will bounce back quickly, though.
The Horndean boss said: ‘We played very, very well and deserved something from the game.
‘We will bounce back, though. I’m sure of that.’
The Deans, buoyed by their FA Cup success over Bridport on Saturday, were at full strength, with new signing Louis Bell on the bench.
But it was the Poppies who pushed forward from the start, Justin Keeler bringing a fine diving save from Deans keeper Simon Howard.
Gradually, Horndean began to compete, with Bobby Hopkinson and Tom Chapman going close to breaking the deadlock.
But on 25 minutes, it was the hosts who took the lead.
Keeler’s inswinging corner somehow found its way through a packed six-yard box and into the far corner of the net.
Gary Austin – put clear by Hopkinson’s inspired through ball – should have levelled straight away but fired wide when it was easier to score.
Just before the interval, Ryan Gadd joined in another Horndean raid.
But his low drive was turned behind by former Gosport Borough keeper Max Frampton.
Howard kept his side in the match when twice denying Dave Ewan from point-blank range.
And just when it looked as though the Deans would fight their way back into the match, Bournemouth broke quickly and Dan Taylor headed in a second.
Horndean threw caution to the wind and ploughed forward in an effort to salvage something.
But after Aaron Fennemore’s effort was hoofed off the line, they were dealt a savage blow as central defender Chapman was sent off for a late challenge.
HORNDEAN: Howard, Smith, Gadd, Shepherd, Chapman, Hopkinson, Fennemore, Hayes, Austin, Fairweather, McKie. Subs: Paxton, Blackmore, Bell, Furrugia, Warren.
n Elsewhere, Petersfield Town beat Fleet Spurs 2-1 in the Wessex League Cup.
Rob Lewis gave Town a dream start with a cracking 20-yard shot after only four minutes.
Greg Parker’s long-range free-kick doubled the advantage before Fleet hit back just before the break.
Hayling United crashed out of the competition at the first hurdle as they lost 4-1 at Brading Town.