SUBSTITUTE Martin Warren twice hit the woodwork but boss Graham Kemp refused to point the finger at Lady Luck over Hamworthy United’s 1-0 defeat at Horndean.
Gary Austin’s solitary strike early in the second half secured all three points for the hosts at Five Heads Park, despite Warren later rattling the post with a header and Dan Blackburn seeing his shot spectacularly saved.
The crossbar was Warren's nemesis moments before the final whistle but his manager was more concerned with the nature of Austin’s goal.
Delivering his post-match assessment, Kemp told the Daily Echo: “It was a typical opening game of the season. Everyone looked a bit anxious but we had the better of the first half and had a great chance to go in front right on half-time.
“We came out the blocks really slowly in the second half and in the end that cost us. We gave away a poor goal and they could have scored another in that 10-minute spell where we were sloppy in possession and made bad decisions.
“The lads reacted well but we have to address the way we put ourselves in that situation in the first place.
“All through pre-season, we haven’t made teams work hard enough for their goals and we have been punished for that."
Hammers: Ackerman, Yelland, Haysom (Cook, 60), Donachy, Hester, Blackburn, Hubbard, Allen, Martin, Price (Legg, 25), Osborne (Warren, 60). Unused subs: Penny, Cole.
Lymington Town kicked off their Wessex League campaign in style with a 4-0 win at Fawley on Friday.
Goals from Jack Odam, Darren Ritchie, Warren Kenna and Ross Lloyd secured the spoils.
Lymo: Williamson, Lloyd, Marden, Ritchie, Ansell, Strickland, Kenna, Stacey, Davis, Odam, Sullivan. Subs: Mead, Man, Rogers, Tate, Baxter.