Havant director of rugby Will Knight admitted it was a frustrating and farcical opening to the season as his troops lost 28-12 to Wimbledon at Hooks Lane.
The hosts were crushed during the second half when captain Joel Knight, wing-forward Harry Welton and prop forward Luke Marks were all shown yellow cards and sent to the sin-bin.
The south London side were quick to capitalise on their numerical advantage to win the London one south encounter.
Knight felt without the yellow-card woe his men could have been celebrating victory.
He said: ‘It is so frustrating because it was a game we could easily have got something from.
‘When we had a full complement of players on the pitch we were competitive and played some good rugby.
‘In the end, it all got a bit farcical with the yellow cards.
‘They scored two of their tries when we were down to 13 men.
‘All the disruption and constant re-organisation stopped us from establishing any flow to our game.’
Havant made a perfect start with a well-worked try inside the first four minutes.
A series of forward drives took play upfield before a family connection took over.
Josh Blackburn cut a lovely line from the left wing to put brother Loz in under the posts.
Full-back Jake Reynolds duly knocked over the conversion to give Havant a 7-0 lead.
Wimbledon hit back, though, with three tries and a penalty.
Havant responded as winger Dickie Duke crossed for a try in the corner.
But Knight and then Welton were sent to the sin bin leaving Havant with 13 players.
‘We thought both yellow cards were harsh and it was a huge blow,’ said Knight.
‘Wimbledon were quick to take the game away from us after that.’
The game became very bitty and the home side also lost try scorer Duke with an injured shoulder.
Then a yellow card was shown to Marks which baffled Knight but he was also able to be positive.
‘Luke’s yellow card was a mysterious one and apparently for repeated offences when all he was trying to do was get the ball back,’ said Knight.
‘Despite the result there were a lot of positives to be taken.
‘Our scrum and line-out operated well and when we had all 15 players on the pitch we played some good rugby.’