Havant coach Will Knight remains upbeat despite his side’s 39-13 defeat at the hands of Hampshire rivals Basingstoke at Hooks Lane.
Knight felt his team competed well for long spells but were eventually well beaten by a strong and efficient outfit.
Havant’s misery was also compounded when winger Dickie Duke suffered a broken collarbone.
‘The result was disappointing but we did show glimpses of a lot more encouraging play,’ said Knight.
‘For a large part of the first half we were the dominant side but we were unable to convert that into points.
‘Once again, though, we showed ourselves as poor starters going seven points down in the first minute.
‘That immediately puts you on the back foot and makes life more difficult.’
After being caught cold at the start, Havant hit back through a Joel Knight penalty.
But Basingstoke added a penalty and converted try to lead 17-3 at half-time.
The two sides exchanged penalties at the start of the second half before Havant got themselves back into the game with an excellent converted try.
James Read made a good break and Dukes finished off in the corner for Knight to convert.
‘At that point we very much looked like threatening to come back into it,’ said the head coach.
‘We had worked really hard to score only to give away another try straight from the restart.’
That stretched Basingstoke’s lead to 25-13 and two minutes later Dukes was helped off the pitch.
After that the visitors exploited Havant’s reorganised side to run out comfortable winners.
‘Despite the result, some of the things we tried worked well,’ said Knight.
‘Moving Joel Knight into the centre and having Pete Living at outside half strengthened our midfield.
‘All the lads who stepped up from the development squad also did well.
‘It is a case of building on the positives and recognising the weaknesses, so we can work on them.
‘We have to be more clinical in exploiting the opportunities when we create them.
‘It is down to precision and putting what we do on the training pitch into game situations.
‘The players have to take on a collective understanding and ownership to work on those areas.
‘We were under no illusions when we came down into this league and knew it would be tough.’