The loss at the Pilot Field was their first reverse in nine games in all competitions and Rutherford said he was delighted at the effort and performances shown in the past few weeks.
Now City are looking forward to more big games – including home clashes with leaders Ashford in the league this Saturday and with Brighton’s under-23s in the Sussex Senior Cup on a pre-Christmas date to be fixed.
The loss at Hastings, who scored from two second-half set-pieces, came after Chi won 2-0 at Corinthian on Saturday through strikes by Lloyd Rowlatt and Ryan Davidson.
Rutherford said: “We’ve been going well, even though on occasions we have been struggling for numbers.
“We went to Hastings with only 12 fit players, although we hope to have more back for the Ashford game on Saturday.
“At Hastings we were quite good in the first half and were the better side in open play, though looked vulnerable from set-pieces. That’s something we need to work on.
“But generally our form is good and we’re hopeful we’ve turned a corner.”
The Brighton game in the county cup is one of three knockout games City must try to squeeze in before December 25. They’re also due to face Storrington in the RUR Cup and Westfield in the Velocity Trophy.