Worthing Football Club manager Adam Hinshelwood believes his squad have given themselves a platform to build on after ending a long wait for victory on Tuesday.
Skipper Ben Pope struck a hat-trick while Kieron Pamment bagged a brace as Worthing sealed a comprehensive 5-0 home Sussex Senior Cup second-round triumph over two-divisions below neighbours Lancing.
The win – Worthing’s first in 210 days and 23 matches, a run which stretched back to March – should give everyone at the club a boost.
The victory was a first in seven games for boss Hinshelwood since he decided on a return to Worthing.
Although he knows tougher tests await his team, manager Hinshelwood feels this is the boost everyone needed.
He said: “It’s massive for everyone at the club. This was a game that everyone expected us to win but, because of the run we were on, the lads showed great resilience and character to get the win.
“I hadn’t realised how long it was since our last victory, so it’s was massive for us to finally end the wait.
“I know it is a cliche but we must approach every match with a cup-final mentality from now until the end of the season.”
Winless since March going in to the cup clash with Lancers, Worthing made six changes from the side that were beaten 2-1 at home by Bostik League Premier Division leaders Hendon on Saturday.
Darren Budd and Joel Colbran, signed from Horsham and Loxwood respectively, were handed debuts.
Hinshelwood was impressed by both new additions, along with several other players to whom he handed valuable minutes.
He added: “What I am seeing as well is improvement in a lot of individuals. Alfie (Young) is doing well, Reuben (Schneider) came in and did well, while Rentsy (Sam Rents), who’s not played a lot in recent weeks, did a good job.
“The new midfield partnership we went with, Darren (Budd), signed from Horsham and Rhyle Ovenden also did well.
“With Ross (Edwards) and Reece (Hallard), who’ve both been doing well for us, it’s starting to feel like we’ve got a squad here.” Worthing, currently nine points adrift at the bottom of the Bostik League Premier Division, welcome Lowestoft Town for an FA Trophy first-round qualifying clash on Saturday.
A fine run in the competition last season saw Worthing reach the second-round proper – winning at National League Dagenham & Redbridge along the way – before going out to Daggers’ divisional rivals Sutton United in a replay. Hinshelwood is targeting another positive result ahead of a return to league action the following week.
He said: “Whether it be Lowestoft in the FA Trophy or whoever we come up against in the league, we’ll be approaching each game in the same way.
“Everyone seems to be buying into the system and how we are playing, it’s about getting wins now.”