Neil McRoberts felt the 46-14 losing scoreline was not a fair reflection on Gosport & Fareham’s performance at Brighton in London one south.
The Gosport Park head coach insists the visitors were unfortunate to come away empty-handed after being in the game until the final 10 minutes.
And he has told his troops to focus on the positives from the first 70 minutes of action against their south coast rivals.
‘It is a real shame we came away with nothing from a brutal and quite physical contest,’ said McRoberts.
‘We had half our first-choices missing but the players who stepped up did really well.
‘The players felt they had done enough to get something.
‘We defended superbly well and when we took the ball to them, we did it with a physicality and conviction.
‘Our senior players led from the front and it was only in the final 10 minutes that we ran out of steam.’
After falling behind to an early converted try, Gosport hit back to level the scores on 15 minutes.
Makeshift scrum-half Dave Cleary poached a try at the base of a scrummage and Wayne Dugan added the conversion.
Brighton led 12-7 at half-time but the visitors struck again three minutes after the restart.
Wayne Dugan powered his way over from a quick tap penalty and then added the points.
The visitors lost Tim Snowden and Kieron McRoberts to injury and in the end their absence told.
‘We have told the players to forget the last 10 minutes and focus on the positives that came before that,’ said McRoberts.
Fareham Heathens’ Hampshire one game against Isle of Wight was abandoned in the first half after a visiting player suffered a badly broken leg.
The home side were 7-5 ahead when the injury happened – 27 minutes into the first period.
‘Their prop forward got injured in a tackle and it was a nasty injury,’ said Heathens coach Bernie Rhodes.
‘There was a delay while we waited for an ambulance to come and take him off to hospital.
‘His brother was their other prop and he wanted to go to the hospital with him.
‘To be honest, a lot of the players and the referee did not fancy carrying on afterwards so the game was abandoned.’
The game has been rescheduled for Saturday, January 2.