Lee Bradbury felt a dynamic second-half display was the difference for the Hawks as they recorded a comfortable 5-2 win at Bognor last night.
Ollie Palmer scored twice and Christian Nanetti, Sahr Kabba and Pedro Monteiro also netted.
Harvey Whyte had opened the scoring for Bognor and Ollie Pearce got their second.
Bradbury praised the Rocks, who he feels will do well under manager Jamie Howell this season.
‘That was a hard match – they played very well and were difficult to break down,’ said the Hawks boss.
‘In the second half I thought we were more lively and passed the ball around well and ended up winning the match very comfortably.
‘Jamie has Bognor playing very well and they will do very well this season.’
Ex-Hawk Harvey Whyte opened the scoring for the hosts, midway through the first half, with a sublime 20-yard finish.
Rocks captain Kane Wills set up the goal with a probing run and square pass that was touched on by Terry Dodd – before Whyte did the rest with a fine shot inside the far post.
Up to that point the match had been nicely poised with both teams playing good football at Nyewood Lane.
Scott Jones looked the Hawks main threat but he headed over after a Jake Newton cross from the right.
Hawks keeper Charlie Searle lined up in goal for the Rocks, as both of their keepers were unavailable to play.
He was called into action with a smart low save after Palmer darted down the left.
Searle denied Palmer again when he saved well at the near post.
The 17-year-old keeper then ran out off luck just before half-time.
A ball over the top caught out the Rocks defence and fell to Jones whose shot was well saved by the teenager.
But with Searle on the deck, Palmer nipped in to stroke the ball into the unguarded net from 20 yards out.
Jesse Kewley-Graham, who signed on-loan for the Hawks earlier in the day, from Wycombe Wanderers, changed the course of the match early in the second half.
His clever free-kick from the left of the Bognor penalty area found the well-timed late run of Nanetti.
The winger, one of four half-time substitutes for Hawks, smashed the ball home from 20 yards to make it 2-1.
Hawks looked more threatening with the changes bringing added pace to the ranks.
And Kabba broke clear with the ball at his feet, only to be denied by Searle, with a quality save.
The lively Kabba then squared a pass to the unmarked Palmer, 15 yards out, but Searle saved well once more.
Kabba claimed the Hawks third goal after a good low cross from the left found the striker from Sierra Leone.
He picked his spot and finished with calm assurance to take the game away from the hosts.
A lack of concentration at the back then cost the Hawks.
Pearce took advantage as he pounced on the loose ball and bent a nice shot around Scott Bevan.
With just minutes left to play Ollie Palmer settled the match with a burst of speed that took him away from his marker.
He made no mistake from 15 yards making the score 4-2.
The experienced Monteiro then added the gloss for Hawks in the final minute with a simple shot from eight yards out after a corner from the left.