Horndean left the pitch to a standing ovation after giving Bostik premier division Margate a huge FA Cup scare.
The home side were mightily relieved to get through with a 3-2 win at Hartsdown Park.
Visiting manager Michael Birmingham lauded the bravery of his team.
He said: ‘I can't speak too highly of my players.
‘They produced an unbelievably brave performance.
‘We showed real backbone, were organised and hard to play against.
‘I knew beforehand we were a good side but we set different standards again in this game.
‘Our discipline and concentration levels were something else again.
‘We played with a great tempo when we didn't have the ball.
‘This was against a team full of experienced players who have played at a good level.’
Alfie Lis rocked the hosts by giving the Deans a 15th-minute lead.
The key moment of the tie arrived a minute before the break.
Harry Jackson saw his lob come back off the crossbar and the home side immediately broke to grab an equaliser.
Margate stretched into a 3-1 lead in the second half.
Horndean however fought back through Jack Maloney and went close to forcing a replay.
Birmingham added: ‘Their goalkeeper made four terrific saves towards the end.
‘The lads did themselves and our league proud with the way they played.’
In the Wessex League premier division AFC Portchester got back to winning ways with a crushing 8-1 win against Andover New Street at the Crest Finance stadium.
Dan Simmons had a field day scoring five goals.
Further goals from Brandon Miller, Ryan Woodford and an own goal completed the rout.
Two set-piece goals sent Baffins Milton Rovers to a 2-0 defeat at Bashley.
Steve Leigh was disappointed feeling his side were the better team.
He said: ‘I couldn't knock the effort and application.
‘We just need to be better in both boxes.’
Fareham Town battled to a 0-0 draw at Alresford Town.
In the Wessex League Cup a Mig Dark hat-trick fired United Services Portsmouth to a 4-2 win at Laverstock & Ford.
Harry Potter also found the net for the Sailors.
Petersfield Town forced a 1-1 draw at Fawley in division one.