Michael Birmingham was grinning from ear to ear following Horndean’s performance in their 5-2 defeat to the Hawks.
The Deans boss felt the final scoreline flattered the National League opponents.
Three goals in the final eight minutes settled Saturday’s pre-season friendly in favour of the Westleigh Park hosts.
Birmingham said: ‘I am chuffed to bits. We knew we would be up against it in the last 10 or 15 minutes because they play four leagues above us.
‘Personally, I don’t think they will come across many sides prepared to be as brave on the ball as we were.
‘We did it by playing football. My teams won’t just launch the ball and I want my players to be brave even though it is hard work.
‘It is very exciting times to be involved at this football club.
‘I think 5-2 at the end flatters the Hawks. Four of their goals came from individual mistakes through tiredness.
‘Against the standard of opposition we were up against I believe all the players need a pat on the back.
‘My philosophy is keep the game simple and keep passing the ball. Both our goals were well made.’
Horndean produced a display which reflected positively on the Wessex League.
They refused to allow the first two Hawks goals to knock them out of their stride.
One player to do his reputation the world of good was young Horndean full-back Benny Reed.
He not only looked composed on the ball but gave the Hawks plenty of problems when he moved forward.
With the score at 2-2 he ghosted between Dan Strugnell and Josh Huggins to flash a shot narrowly past the far post.
Birmingham believes the 21-year-old can go on and play at a much higher level.
‘I believe Benny is the best right-back in the Wessex League,’ said the boss.
‘My challenge to him is to go out and prove just that this season.’
Elsewhere, Fareham Town slipped to a 2-1 defeat at Western League Chipping Sudbury Town.
And United Services fought out a 4-4 draw against AFC Portchester with Harry Birmingham, Steve Ramsey, Cameron Roach and Andy Todd finding the net for the Royals.