HASTINGS United kicked off the new campaign in the Ryman Premier League with a frustrating 1-0 defeat away to Hampton & Richmond Borough.
The U’s could feel hard done by because they created a number of decent openings against opposition expected to be challenging this season.
The only goal arrived in the first half when James Simmonds’ free kick to the far post was headed home by defender Max Hustwick.
Before then only a flying save by home keeper Rodeny Chiewshe kept out a Zac Attwood header from Matt Whitehead’s centre.
Charlie Moone scuffed a great chance to double the lead before prodding wide from another opportunity.
But Hastings could consider themselves unlucky not to get something out of the game because after Attwood had failed to make the most of a great chance soon after the restart, Dee Okojie went close on a couple of occasions and Danny Ellis flashed another effort just wide.
Hastings are back in action on Tuesday when Margate visit The Pilot Field, kick-off 7.45pm.