Worthing boss Adam Hinshelwood is targeting at least ten league wins in the remainder of the season after suffering a last-minute 3-2 defeat at fellow strugglers Harlow Town on Saturday.
Worthing are seven points adrift of second-from-bottom Tooting at the bottom of the Bostik League Premier Division after a mistake by keeper Lucas Covolan gifted Harlow’s Alex Read a 90th-minute winner.
Harlow are now third from bottom and also seven points ahead of Worthing, who have conceded three times in the final minute of a game since Hinshelwood took over in September, costing them five points.
Hinshelwood said: “It was a tough one to take and really frustrating. We’ve conceded a lot of goals in the 90th minute this season – if you take away all of them, we’d be much better off than what we are.
“It’s just making our task a lot harder. We need to win games and get a bit of momentum, even a draw would have stopped them getting those extra two points.
“We’ve got to learn quickly, roll our sleeves up and turn things around.
“We’re going to have to win ten games, which isn’t going to be easy for a team that has won only two all season.
“We’ll keep working hard and have just got to take it one game at a time.”
Worthing twice led at Harlow through Kieron Pamment’s stunning 30-yard strike and Reece Meekums’ first goal for the club. Former Reading defender Ibrahima Sonko scored Harlow’s first equaliser with a thumping header, before Fabion Simms made it 2-2 on the stroke of half-time.
Both sides were reduced to ten men in an open second half as Harlow’s Jideofo Maduako and Worthing captain Ben Pope were both sent off for fouls.
Pamment and Jimmy Wild missed excellent chances to put Worthing 3-2 ahead, before Covolan looked to chip a back pass over Read but only succeeded in playing the ball straight to the Harlow striker, who fired home off the underside of the bar in the final minute.
Hinshelwood said: “We’ve gone away from home and created a lot of chances again.
“Lucas has been excellent and has made matchwinning saves to earn us points but you can’t legislate for what he did.
“It’s important we stick together as a group, keep learning, keep improving and cut out the silly mistakes.”
On the red cards, Hinshelwood said: “Both were a bit harsh. You begin to think your luck has changed when their player is sent off and we then went three up front which allowed us to have a couple of chances.
“Then Ben’s touch has seen the ball go away from him and although his foot was on the ground, he’s been sent off.”
The dismissal was Pope’s second of the season and the striker is now set to miss four games.
Worthing travel to Eastbourne Borough in the second round of the Sussex Senior Cup third round tomorrow.
WORTHING: Covolan; Colbran, Rents, Hallard, Starkey, Young, Parsons, Pamment, Pope, Meekums, Sparks. Subs: Rance (Sparks 77), Wild (Pamment 83), Schneider, Watson, O’Sullivan.