FAREHAM suffered a 6-1 defeat at Old Georgians in their opening match of the new National League conference west season as their inexperience showed.
A goal from David Roach put the visitors ahead early on.
But newly-promoted Old Georgians soon got level and then capitalised on some mistakes from Fareham to complete a resounding victory.
Ben Barnes is hoping his side can learn quickly to avoid repeating the same errors in their upcoming matches.
The Fareham performance director at least took some encouragement from a positive second-half display by his team who only conceded once after the break.
He said: ‘We have a young and inexperienced side and it showed in the first half.
‘We gave away far too much possession in the first half and were made to pay for it.
‘We have to learn from this. I was pleased with how we improved and performed in the second half.’
Fareham had to make several changes to last season’s side.
They have been hit by injuries and seen a number of players leave the club.
This meant the club handed a first taste of National League hockey to several of their young players.
Fareham started the game brightly when on three minutes Danny Rawlins picked up an aerial ball from Jamie Young, drew the keeper, and then crossed to Roach to tap into an open goal from close range to take the lead.
Within two minutes Fareham’s inexperience showed.
James Tindall, the former GB international, scored a hat-trick in just three minutes of the contest as the visitors were taken apart.
On six minutes Fareham gave away possession in their own half, then the home team found their star striker unmarked in the D and he was able to equal the scores.
A minute later a similar lapse occurred for the home team to take the lead again through Tindall.
And then on eight minutes Old Georgians hit the ball into the Fareham D.
It took a deflection off a Fareham stick and Tindall was on hand to volley the ball into the net to make the score 3-1.
Liam Doidge extended the lead on 24 minutes as Fareham saw the match slipping away from them.
His penalty corner was deflected in off a Fareham stick as Old Georgians made it four.
The first-half rout was concluded when Elliott Messon scored from open play a minute before the break for the home side to take a 5-1 lead.
Although in shock the young Fareham team regrouped at half-time and tightened up their play in the second half.
Tindall rounded off the scoring in open play five minutes from time to extend the score to 6-1.
Fareham take on Team Bath Buccaneers at home on Saturday.
Last season’s champions lost their opener when they were beaten at home 3-2 by Cardiff & Met.