A late flurry of wickets saw Hampshire squander their hard graft on day one of the Championship division one clash with Worcestershire.
After being put into bat when the morning showers had subsided, play eventually started at 3pm.
But everything pointed towards a day to bowl first with grey skies and some moisture and movement in the pitch for the bowlers.
Hampshire survived the first session with relative ease to reach the tea interval at 56 without loss, although they were clearly adopting a safety-first policy.
Jimmy Adams’ side had then moved on to 88 without loss – but ended the day on 119 for four as Worcestershire hit back with a late burst in the final hour.
Until that point, the home side had looked in control, although the opening partnership were certainly not in a hurry as they plodded their way beyond the 50 mark.
But after they appeared to have most of the hard work done, Dawson (39) edged behind as debutant Ed Barnard picked up his first wicket.
Michael Carberry (14) joined his captain at the crease and survived a loud shout for caught behind off Joe Leach – with the slip cordon and bowler all staring at an unmoved umpire Michael Gough in collective disbelief.
But the powerful left-hander – who has been Hampshire’s most in-form batsman so far – did not wait for the umpire’s decision soon afterwards as he nicked the lively Jack Shantry’s delivery to the wicketkeeper.
That saw James Tomlinson sent in as nightwatchman to protect the middle order but Hampshire suffered again when Adams (48) fell just two runs short of his half-century in the following over.
And when Tomlinson (five) was trapped leg before wicket to the final ball of the day, it was certainly advantage to Worcestershire.
With the two counties promoted together from division two last season, they have both found life in the top flight more difficult – with just one win between the sides so far.
But winless Hampshire’s situation is the more pressing as they search for a kick-start to their campaign to get them up and running.
With further showers predicted over the coming days, the chances of a positive result are already looking slimmer.
But against a club that will also probably be involved in the relegation battle towards the end of the season, it’s imperative that Hampshire don’t lose this one.