JACK Hindle continued to show the kind of goal-scoring form that can turn him into a Barrow AFC star.

Two goals in the National League opener against Havant – with new loan recruit Tyler Smith netting the other just two days after his arrival – signalled the 24-year-old’s intent to make his mark in non-league’s top-flight.

Pre-season belonged to the former Colwyn Bay front-man, who found the back of the net seemingly at will, and he was not about to let the switch from friendly action to the start of the campaign proper affect his form.

Ian Evatt had spoken of how impressed he had been by a man who was signed before he had even arrived in the summer, and Hindle was on fire once more with a brace on his full debut.

The first was a left-footed rocket, struck from the edge of the area when he was given just a yard of space. A contender for goal of the season just 40 minutes in.

His second was another punt from distance midway through the second half to make the game safe. Hawks keeper Ryan Young probably should have saved it, but when your luck is in, your luck is in, and Hindle has a fortune in his pile of chips.

His was a standout display among an impressive season-opener for AFC.

Captain Josh Granite showed why he has been given the arm-band with a resolute effort at the back; Josh Kay was lively in the middle of the park and had the visitors running in circles; Smith was a dangerous threat in attack, and never gave Havant a moment’s rest.

They were among 10 debutants in Evatt’s starting XI – Dan Jones the odd man out, though he looked a totally different player to the one who had struggled along with the rest of the team for long spells last season.

From Andy Firth in goal at one end to Hindle, Smith and Rhys Turner in a three-pronged attack at the other, they all give cause for optimism.

Sure, there will be tougher challenges this term than the promoted Hawks, but this is also an AFC team who are still getting to know each other and the tactics of their boss. They too, will only improve.

It had started in stuttering fashion from both sides, with no flow, no cohesion, no chances for 15 minutes.

Havant eventually created two – Andreas Robinson and Rory Williams both shooting weakly at Firth from 18 yards – before Barrow had their first, with Jason Taylor and Kay playing Smith through behind the defence, but the teenager dragging an effort past the far post.

Firth had to dive on a loose ball that was poorly dealt with by the defence in his own area, before there were brief handbags on the sidelines between Kay and Brian Stock midway through the half, with both being booked.

Williams hit a rocket well wide for the visitors and Smith was almost in on the end of a long ball that had him behind the defence at the other end, with Ryan Young out of his area well to chest the ball down and clear the danger.

The opener came when Taylor played in Hindle as he ran across the 18-yard-line from the right and picked out the top corner with his left peg. So much for being right-footed.

Paul Robinson headed weakly at Firth before the half was out, and early in the second half John Rooney fired well over from 30 yards with a free-kick.

Rooney was the provider for the second goal, as a short corner routine saw him into the area and firing in a hard cross that rattled about and fell to Smith, who scrambled home from close-range like a true poacher.

The second goal opened the game up and now there were chances all over the place.

Wesley Fogden was denied with a shot from close-range that Firth saved with his legs – although he may have known little about it – and then AFC counter-attacked, ending with Rhys Turner having a header clawed away by Young.

Alfie Pavey hit the post for the visitors with a cross-cum-shot from the left that missed everyone and struck the woodwork on the far side, and Barrow then lost Kay as he left the field touching his hamstring, although not moving so badly as to suggest a major issue.

It could have been the signal for the visitors to find away back, but instead it was 3-0 when Hindle chanced his arm with a shot through a crowd that Young really should have stopped as it trickled in at his near post.

The game was done, although Granite still had to block a goal-bound effort from Fogden, Young saved from Rooney, and substitute Raul Correia snapped wide when played into space.

The three points were sewn up by that point, however, and now the task is to build on the momentum from the win as they head to FC Halifax Town tomorrow night.

Hindle will be looking forward to it.

Barrow AFC (4-3-3): Andy Firth 8, Connor Brown 8, Dan Jones 7, Josh Granite 8, Brian Wilson 7, Jason Taylor 8, John Rooney 7, Josh Kay 8 (Luke Burgess 65, 7), Jack Hindle 9 (Nathan Waterston 85), Tyler Smith 8 (Raul Correia 74), Rhys Turner 7.

Substitutes Not Used: Matt Elsdon, Jack Barthram.

Yellow Cards: Kay (29), Waterston (90).

Havant and Waterlooville (3-5-2): Ryan Young, Edward Harris, Jordan Rose, Paul Robinson, Rory Williams (Josh Huggins 76), Bradley Tarbuck, Brian Stock, Andreas Robinson (Theo Lewis 66), Wesley Fogden, Alfie Pavey (Alfie Rutherford 69), Nicke Kabamba.

Substitutes Not Used: Ryan Woodford, Michael Carter.

Yellow Cards: Stock (29), Kabamba (90).

Referee: Martin Woods (Bolton).

Attendance: 1,389 (61 from Havant).

Next Game: FC Halifax Town v Barrow AFC, tomorrow,The Shay, 7.45pm kick-off).