Lee Bradbury reflected on the Hawks’ National League opening-day defeat at Barrow and insisted: There were a lot of positives to take.
The Westleigh Park outfit fell to a 3-0 loss at Holker Street in their first-ever game in the top tier of the non-league ladder.
However, the Hawks created some decent opportunities and were the better side in the first half.
Bradbury felt Barrow’s experience of the National League ultimately proved the difference but he still took heart from aspects of his side’s performance.
The Hawks boss said: ‘It’s a big learning curve for us. We switched off a couple of times and got punished for it.
‘Having said that, we had as many good chances as they did in the game but didn’t take them. They were better in both boxes.
‘Barrow knew how to play the league and knew what they could get away with regarding referee decisions.
‘We were a bit naive but it’s a stiff learning curve and I’d rather have it now than before it’s too late.
‘But as a performance, take the goals out of it and we were as good as them. There’s a lot of positives in there. We had more of the ball than they did and the better chances.’
Barrow could have been reduced to 10 men when Josh Kay raised his arm the face of Brian Stock when the game was goalless.
Bradbury felt the Bluebirds midfielder should have been dismissed.
‘At any level it’s a red card after their lad turns round and smashed Brian Stock in the face,’ added Bradbury.
‘I don’t know how or why the referee hasn’t sent him off – it’s ridiculous. I’m not blaming the referee for our result but it would have certainly had an impact when it was 0-0.’