Lee Bradbury was left frustrated as the Hawks were forced to settle for a draw against Eastbourne Borough at Westleigh Park on Saturday.
The hosts came from behind to claim a share of the spoils in the Skrill South encounter.
After conceding in the 36th minute, they quickly recovered to level before the break through a spectacular Perry Ryan strike.
But they were unable to kick on from there and the Borough defence – superbly marshalled by former Hawks player Ian Simpemba – held firm.
It left Bradbury to wonder what might have been as he continues to chase the play-off places.
‘It was a frustrating day for us because Eastbourne came and succeeded in making it hard,’ said the boss.
‘It was a good point in the end but I can’t help feel we let two points slip away from us.
‘I felt we had the best chances in the game and if we had won it 2-1, I don’t think anyone would have grumbled.’
Borough looked like a team struggling to find their form in the opening 25 minutes as the Hawks pinned them back inside their own half.
But the hosts failed to turn their superiority into goals.
And the visitors gradually got themselves a foothold in the game.
However, it was still slightly against the run of play when Borough took a 36th-minute lead.
Some quick, accurate passing up the middle sent Simon Johnson between two home defenders and he finished well.
‘We wanted to start well and get them on the back foot which I think we did,’ said Bradbury.
‘But with both teams playing identical formations it became a bit of a game of chess.
‘For long periods I thought we were more effective, so it is disappointing not to come away with a win.
‘They had a bit of good fortune for their goal and it came slightly against the run of play.’
Within five minutes the Hawks were back on level terms thanks to Ryan, who gave a rare glimpse of his shooting ability.
Bradbury was not surprised, though, as his work with the ex-Pompey talent on the training ground paid off.
‘Perry has got a fantastic strike and we have been working with him on set-plays on the training ground,’ he said.
‘We know if we can get him on the ball 25 yards out he has a lot of power behind his right foot.
‘Nine times out of 10, if he gets his shot on target it is going to go in.
‘We were positive at half-time and – having got back on level terms – we expected to go on and win it.’
That should have been the case with substitute Sahr Kabba and defender Dan Strugnell who both squandered good opportunities in the closing stages.
Kabba put his shot too close to goalkeeper Craig Ross in a one-on-one and Strugnell fired wide from an excellent position deep in the Borough area.
HAWKS: Bevan, Newton, Woodford, Strugnell, Blanchett,
Kewley-Graham (Atangana, 70mins), Ryan, Przespolewski
(Kabba, 70mins), Ciardini, Oli, Jones (Nanetti, 63mins)