Worthing boss Adam Hinshelwood hailed his players after sealing an opening-day success and said: "That was just reward for the hard-work put in over pre-season."
Debutant Callum Kealy netted either side of the interval as Worthing came from behind to seal a 2-1 triumph against Wingate & Finchley in their Bostik League Premier Division curtain-raiser at Woodside Road.
Former Brighton defender Hinshelwood was delighted with the character shown as his team secured all three points after Sean Cronin's spot-kick just past the half-hour left Worthing with it all to do.
Hinshelwood said: "It's always nice to get off to a good start. We weren't at our best but still managed to get the three points.
"We went behind but showed great character to come back and I was pleased for Callum (Kealy) to get off the mark.
"We've been working really hard through pre-season so I'm delighted the players have got their rewards with an opening-day win. Hopefully this just settles everyone down and this will give the new players belief in how we do play and it does work. It wasn't as fluent as we want it to be but we'll take the three points and analyse."
Although pleased to kick off the new season with victory, Hinshelwood knows there is plenty still to improve.
Wingate's goal came from the penalty spot after a needless nudge by wing-back Alex Parsons on Robert Laney.
Hinshelwood added: "It was a silly one (the penalty). We had so many players back there to deal with it and we didn't need to get ourselves in that position. That's a couple now that Alex (Parsons) has had and a player of his experience must get better at, I know he's not used to being in those defensive areas, but we have got to get ourselves in a position to deal with those situations better.
"Craney (James Crane), Callum (Kealy), David (Ajiboye) and Ricky (Aguiar) all have to settle in to the way that we play. Although we've been working on it in pre-season, it takes time for them to believe and understand it in these games. Really pleased with lots of aspects but there is still plenty to work on and get better at."
Worthing will have little time to celebrate this win before they return to action. The first away game of the season comes at Carshalton Athletic on Monday, with Hinshelwood aware he may have to manage his squad.
"We'll have to analyse ahead of Carshalton on Monday," Hinshelwood said.
"There were a few players cramping up towards the end. It's important everyone recovers well and they get the right nutrition in to them ahead of Monday. "
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