Worthing Football Club boss Gary Elphick lamented his side's slow start as they slumped to an opening-day Bostik League Premier Division defeat on Saturday.
Lloyd Macklin's brace and a Ryan James effort, which all came in the first half-hour, ensured Metropolitan Police ran out 3-1 winners as the curtain came down on another season.
The returning Zack Newton, who spent a large part of last season out with glandular fever, pulled one back on the hour but that proved just a consolation.
Worthing boss Elphick knows his side need to be at it from the get go if they are to achieve what he wants this term.
He said: "They (Metropolitan Police) started well and we struggled to deal with their physicality early on. As the game wore on, we grew into it and played some really good football - particularly in the second half.
"If we could have pulled another back who knows what might have happened, we were causing them more and more problems as it went on.
"Ultimately, that opening 30-minute spell cost us, We were 2-0 down after eight minutes, then three down before the half-hour was out."
One plus point in the opening-day defeat for Elphick was the performance of winger Newton.
After netting on his return to competitive action, Worthing manager Elphick is excited by what he could produce this season.
He added: "Zack (Newton) was superb, especially in second half. When you think that is his first competitive game back for a while, it's frightening to know he is only going to get better."
Substitute Lloyd Dawes limped off at the end and is out of Wednesday's trip to Leatherhead. Ross Edwards (rib injury) is a doubt also but Omar Folkes is expected to return to the fold.
Click here for a report from Worthing's opening-day defeat
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