THEY did not achieve a top 10 finish like manager David Howell craved, but Harrow Borough again gave hope for the future.
Darren Budd's 59th minute winner condemned Harrow to another season-ending defeat, yet they finished in 14th position in the Ryman Premier, two places better off than the previous campaign.
But Howell believes they could, and should, have done even better had they converted a few more of their 12 draws into victory. Indeed, Harrow lost 16 times this season - the same amount as local rivals Wealdstone, who claimed seventh place.
"Saturday's game just about summed up our season," said the Borough boss.
"We dominated the game and should have beat them but didn't.
"It was another case of so close yet so far.
"But the lads have done really well this season and had we won four or five of the matches we ended up drawing you are looking at another 10 points and a different season."
Howell will now have to wait to see what sort of budget is at his disposal for next season as he aims to build on the foundations laid this time around.
"The players can take a lot of credit for what they have done this season," added Howell.
"But if we have a little bit more belief, application and consistency we will be in a much stronger position next season."
Howell himself has been buoyed by his team's latest campaign after years of lengthy relegation dogfights.
"Last season I could not wait for it to be over so I could enjoy a break away from football, whereas now, I am already getting ready for the start of pre-season.
"It has invigorated me and even though we are seen as the minnows of the league with no money we have showed we are not a million miles away as we've remained competitive throughout the season."
Howell has been delighted with the emergence of youngsters Ryan Watts and Gary Noel, two players who will be keen to emulate Robin Shroot into the Football League.
"I'm hoping to progress further next season and go for that top 10 finish," commented Howell.
"If we get close to that, you can get into the play-offs."
Danny Leech, James Fraser and Dewayne Clarke returned to the starting line-up on Saturday with Lee Hall, Warren Whitely and Jonathan Constant making way.
Clarke and James Fraser fashioned a half-chance for Gary Noel, and Tolfrey was forced to hold his angled shot. Davies then tested Andray Baptiste in the Borough goal before the visitors enjoyed a spell of sustained pressure without any real end product.
Fraser wasted two good chances as Horsham rode their luck while Claude Seanla and Davies failed at the other end.
Tolfrey denied Clarke as Harrow flew out of the traps in the second half, before Bobby Highton blasted a shot just over the bar.
And Harrow were made to pay for their profligacy in front of goal when Budd's free kick on the hour evaded a crowd of players in the box and a stranded Baptiste at his near post.
Wayne Walters should have restored parity but headed Watts's cross down and wide.
Noel then picked up a knock and was replaced by Harrow player-coach Jamie Lawrence, making his first appearance since his MRSA nightmare which began last Christmas.
However, not even the former Bradford City midfielder's presence could help fashion Harrow an equaliser as more chances went begging.
Harrow Borough: Baptiste, Leech, Watts, Walters (cpt), Jinadu, Highton, Fenton (Whitely, 67), Frempong, Clarke (Lawrence, 73), Noel (Constant, 73), Fraser.