Barnstaple Town manager Richard Pears said individual mistakes cost his side after his first competitive game at the helm.
Barum were beaten 3-1 at AFC Totton on Saturday in Evo-Stik League South West.
After a goalless first half, Craig Feeney gave Totton the lead two minutes after the restart.
Karl Rickard got the visitors back on terms, heading in from a set piece, but Totton replied with goals Stuart Mott and Nimes Pina.
Despite the result, the Barnstaple manager said there were more positives than negatives.
“Three individual errors cost us the game to be honest, in what was otherwise a solid performance,” said Pears.
“It was our first game, we were unsure what to expect being a new side with a new manager at a new standard.
“We were a little uncertain at times but we more than matched them for long periods.”
“But we are not far off. Other teams are a bit more organised because we are playing catch up.
“If we cut out those individual errors against Larkhall we have got a good chance of getting a result and getting our season underway.
Barum play Larkhall Athletic on Tuesday in their first home game of the season.
Pears will be able to call on Jordan Charran, Alex Gray and Teigan Rosenquest – all of whom were unavailable on Saturday.
They’ve also been boosted by the signings of attacking midfielder Fletcher Williams and centre-back Austin Booth – both on loan from Truro City.
On Saturday, Barnstaple welcome Clevedon Town to Mill Road in the first qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup.
“We are no different to anyone else and we want to get as far as we can,” said Pears.
“It builds momentum and we want exactly that.
“Clevedon have played some games already so they’re going to be slightly ahead of us in terms of match sharpness, but we’re going to go out there and give absolutely everything.”