Farnham Town manager Paul Johnson was satisfied with his much-rotated side's efforts after they lost 5-4 at home to Rayners Lane in the Premier Challenge Cup on Tuesday night.

Johnson made nine changes from the side which beat Burnham 6-0 in the FA Vase on Saturday, with starts for development players Toby Sherman and Joe Goddard at The Memorial Ground.

Town were quick out of the blocks and took the lead in the fourth minute when Goddard's ball over the top found Dean Rule, who outmuscled the defender before confidently slotting home.

The visitors, who play in the Combined Counties Premier Division North, were quick to respond and equalised on six minutes through Frank Keita.

Farnham retook the lead two minutes later when Charlie Postance's low shot was spilled by the Rayners Lane keeper and rolled into the back of the net.

Rule made it 3-1 to Farnham in the 19th minute when his driven effort deflected in.

Rayners Lane pulled a goal back on 33 minutes when Elliott Buchanan tapped home, and the visitors equalised four minutes later through Buchanan's smart finish.

The visitors took the lead for the first time on the hour mark through Troy Perez-Duah's low driven effort into the bottom corner.

Town came roaring back and equalised in the 68th minute when Rule completed his hat-trick in spectacular style. Rule received the ball on the left and cut in before curling a superb effort into the top right-hand corner from the edge of the box.

Buchanan completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot on 85 minutes to make it 5-4 and knock Farnham out of the cup.

Despite the defeat, Johnson was satisfied with what his side got out of the night.

"It was an entertaining night," said Johnson. "It was a goalfest. It was a little bit more open than we would normally like – but that was expected.

"We changed formation and said to the players to go out and get a good 90 minutes under their belt.

"That's what it was about – especially for the boys who have been on the bench. They got a good workout – it was hard out there.

"The pitch was horrible. Straight through the middle you couldn't stand up – so they will feel that in their legs.

"I said to the youngsters they're not going to play against players like that in the next two or three years. They're good players they played against and the experience they got is going to be invaluable to them as long as they take it on board.

"We almost nicked an equaliser at the end. There were a lot of chances and a lot of goals. It was a pleasing night – we got exactly what we wanted out of it."

Johnson was full of praise for Rule, who took his chance in the starting line-up in style with a hat-trick.

"Dean Rule took his chance," said Johnson. "It was great to see him back and I thought he was good. He looked nice on the ball and his third goal was a great finish. He was playing with a smile – so that was good."

The game came at a cost for Farnham, with Max Meaton and Joe Jackson picking up injuries – although Johnson hopes they are only minor injuries.

"They're both impact injuries hopefully," said Johnson. "Max was knee on knee, so hopefully there's nothing serious there. Joe's was a pass left short and he took a whack on the foot. Hopefully it's just bruising and he'll get that out by Saturday."

Town return to Combined Counties Premier Division South action on Saturday with a trip to Redhill (3pm), and Johnson is looking forward to the test.

"It's a big game on Saturday," said Johnson. "Redhill will be a threat all season so it's an important game for us. We're looking forward to the test."