THE HAWKS’ maiden National League fixture ended in defeat at Barrow.
Jack Hindle fired a double and Tyler Smith was on target to condemn the Westleigh Park outfit to a 3-0 curtain-raiser loss at Holker Street.
Boss Lee Bradbury was forced to watch his side’s first-ever clash in the top tier of the non-league pyramid from the directors’ box – a consequence for being sent-off against Whitehawk last season.
Nicke Kabamba and Andreas Robinson had chances for the Hawks within the first 15 minutes but both of their efforts lacked purchase.
The Bluebirds’ first glimpse of goal fell to Smith when he broke into the visitors’ box but scuffed his angled right-foot shot wide of Ryan Young’s far post in the 23rd minute.
Wes Fodgen’s tenacity almost gave the visitors the opener when he stole the ball inside Barrow’s box.
A goalmouth scramble ensued but Firth managed to pounce on the loose ball.
It was Barrow who took the lead through a superb strike from HINDLE five minutes before half-time.
The midfielder swivelled on the edge of the box before unleashing a left-foot shot into the top corner.
The hosts started the better of the two sides after the break and soon doubled their lead in the 55th minute after a defensive mix-up.
No Hawks player took responsibility to clear Rooney’s cross against the face of goal and there was SMITH to tuck his effort home from close range.
In the 62nd minute, Kabamba thought he’d reduced the deficit when he met Alfie Pavey’s cross with a diving header but his effort struck the post.
And Barrow ensured the Hawks fell to an opening-day defeat 18 minutes from full-time.
HINDLE grabbed his second of the game with a trickling left-footed shot from the edge of the box which crept past Young
Wes Fogden almost grabbed a consolation for Bradbury’s troops but his angled right-footed shot was smartly blocked by the outstretched leg of Josh Granite.