Petersfield Town ended their first season in Southern League division one central with a 1-0 defeat by Kings Langley at Love Lane.
The victory gave the visitors the title but Rams manager Ian Saunders also felt he could take a lot of positives from the game.
He said: ‘We produced a very spirited performance and in many ways finished the season on a high.
‘There was a youthful look about our team as we had four vastly experienced players missing.
‘Though we didn’t trouble our opponents much we defended really well.
‘It is a bitter pill to taste to see a team celebrating on our pitch when it isn’t us.
‘Overall though we have to be happy with our season having established ourselves at this level.
‘It has been a massive learning curve but I believe we will be much better for it next season.
‘After winning back-to-back championships it was a case of us keeping people’s feet on the ground and being realistic.
‘At times this season we were decent but at other times not so good.
‘We went from a big squad to a smaller one and that made a difference.
‘On occasions maybe we needed to train a little bit harder.
‘Hopefully we can go out all guns blazing at the start of next season.’
The hosts went into the game without four of their ‘big hitters’ Stuart Green, Howard Neighbour, Andy Todd and Ben Buckland.
In an even first half the Rams had the better of the chances early on.
The visitors rallied however and home goalkeeper Anthony Ender had a to block a low shot from Mitchell Weiss.
Ender also made a fingertip save to deny David Hutton.
The visitors’ title-winning goal arrived 18 minutes from time as Weiss fired his finish into the far corner of the net to spark wild celebrations among the travelling party.