Gary Croydon praised his side's battling performance despite watching Burgess Hill fall at Tonbridge Angels in the eastern division.

A Linden Rowland strike after 34 minutes condemned the Hillians to a third successive defeat in the league.

But Croydon was upbeat after a game where his side matched an impressive Tonbridge outfit for long periods.

He said: "For the last 15 minutes we finished the better side and could have got what would have been a deserved point.

"Instead we had to settle for a very good performance againat one of the better sides in this division away from point.

"We played very well and, although I have said it before, we are learning quickly.

"I am not happy with the result because I never like losing but sometimes the context of the result has to be taken into account "We have just got to carry this on from here."

Burgess Hill could have taken the lead in the first minute when Nicky Wyatt headed narrowly wide from a good cross by Nicky Sullivan.

However, they suffered a blow on 20 minutes when striker Steve Harper had to go off injured and was replaced by Richard Carter.

Tonbridge seized their chance to take a lead into the interval but the Hillians responded well in the second half and chances fell to both Sullivan and Ben Andrews as they finished strongly.