Hawks boss Lee Bradbury felt Ryan Woodford’s late winner was well deserved as Hawks beat Salisbury City 1-0 at Westleigh Park.
The defender was in the right place to power home a header in the final minute of last night’s pre-season friendly.
It was Hawks’ first goal of the summer and their first victory.
Manager Bradbury felt it was an impressive performance from his team against a good quality side.
He said: ‘It’s always nice to get your first goal and win.
‘We caused them a lot of problems with our formation and the way we kept the ball.
‘Last season Salisbury were probably the best team in our league and we more than matched them.
‘We restricted them to long shots and we probably had three or four good chances we should have done better with.
‘Overall we looked very solid and things are starting to take shape.
‘We left it late but Ryan Woodford heads the ball well and we just about deserved it.’
The Hawks controlled the first half with striker Palmer clearly in the mood.
Last season’s Conference South player of the year was back from a break in Portugal and showed he had lost no sharpness.
Three times in the opening nine minutes he threatened to force an early breakthrough.
On five minutes, the young forward barged James Clarke off the ball inside the City area, then looked up and squared the ball to Nic Ciardini.
But, unfortunately for the Hawks, the midfielder was only able to shoot wide from a good position.
Salisbury keeper Will Puddy then twice denied Palmer.
The Hawks were passing the ball well and should have got their first goal of pre-season in the 26th minute.
A superb ball from Christian Nanetti set triallist Serge Makofo clear but, after beating Puddy, he saw his goal-bound shot cleared by a defender.
The Hawks were unable to create any other good chances in the first half and Bradbury made several changes at the break.
Warren Cummings, Ryan Woodford, Ed Harris, Sahr Kabba and Scott Jones stepped off the bench.
The visitors then looked the more threatening and Jamie White fired straight at Bevan.
Without Palmer, who went off at the break, the Hawks struggled to hold the ball up front.
But they got the winner when two defenders combined.
Harris delivered a cross from the right touchline and Woodford rose to guide a perfect header into the corner of the net.
The Hawks take a squad side to play Horndean at Five Heads Park tonight (7.45pm).
Hawks: Bevan; Newton, Blanchett, Hutchinson, Monteiro, Strugnell, Nanetti, Ryan, Palmer, Ciardini, Makofo. Subs: Woodford, Searle, Harris, Jones, Kabba, Wedlake, Cummings, Adebowale
Salisbury: Puddy; Tulley, Brett, James-Lewis, Clarke, Geoghegan, Thomson, Lewis, Wyatt, McPhee, Sinclair. Subs: Case, Carey, Hart, Ruddick, Dami, Wellard, Frear, White, Reid
Referee: D Cook (Fareham).