The Hornets’ decline in fortunes during the early 1980s saw them no longer eligible to participate in the FA Trophy and were thus entered in to the FA Vase, a competition open for those clubs playing below Step Four of the Non-League system.

Although the third round was reached in their debut season, Horsham crashed out in emphatic style courtesy of Leyton-Wingate whose 8-0 triumph became the club’s heaviest in the competition.

There was some overdue success in the 1986/7 campaign when the last 32 was reached only to succumb to eventual semi-finalists Collier Row in a replay but, such was Horsham’s luck with this knockout competition that even a victory went against them when Paul Crimmen’s ineligibility came to light after a 2-1 win over Whitehawk in 1990 and the club was expelled from the tournament.