Adam Hinshelwood was full of praise for his Worthing squad after they suffered a Bostik League Premier Division defeat against arch-rivals Bognor.
Dan Smith and substitute Mason Walsh got the goals - both in the second half - as Rocks ran out 2-0 winners over Worthing in front of a bumper 1,853 crowd at Woodside Road.
But it could have been a different story if former Bognor forward Ollie Pearce had taken a great opportunity in the opening half.
And substitute Callum Kealy also saw an effort cleared on the line with Worthing trailing 1-0.
However the home side could not find a way back in, leaving them with just one win from their previous seven matches in all competitions.
But Hinshelwood saw signs of improvement on recent performances, although it did prove to be a disappointing final outing before Christmas for Worthing.
"With more performances like that we'll win more than we lose moving forward," Hinshelwood said.
"I think that performance is one that we can build on and take spirit from.
“If we keep performing in that vein then I think we’ll start taking the chances we get.
“The game could have been different.
“Ollie (Pearce) had a great chance at 0-0, if he takes that in the first half it’s a different game.
“Goals change games, but for me there was a big catalyst in that performance.
“I thought first half we were a lot more like how we were playing last season.
“There’s lots for us to build on now.
“Bognor upped the tempo second half and started well for the first ten minutes or so.
“We lost one or two challenges in that period, which in a derby game we’ve got to make sure we’re more aggressive in certain situations.
“The first goal came from when we had a two-versus-one in our favour defensively.
“Their player has then ended up turning past two of our players.
“Then it’s just that bit of luck. When the goalkeeper saves it sometimes he pushes it out of danger rather than to their player, which happened twice."
Have you read?