Adam Hinshelwood has called on his Worthing Football Club troops to show more resolve.
Billy Hunt’s brace and Josh Gould’s goal - all in the final 20 minutes - helped Brightlingsea Regent record an eventual comfortable 3-0 home win over ten-man Worthing on Saturday.
It was a first defeat in five Bostik League Premier Division matches for Hishelwood’s side - who have climbed off the bottom and up to 22nd after a recent upturn in results.
Worthing’s form of late has pleased Hinshelwood but one area he wants to see improved is closing out matches.
On numerous occasions this season, Worthing have conceded in the final 20 minutes of games - which happened once again in the defeat at Brightlingsea.
Hinshelwood said: “I felt we were a little bit unfortunate to be on the end of the scoreline we were in the end.
“It’s another game where we’re in it up until around 70 minutes, then things just got away from us.
“On the whole we played well, it’s just about showing more resilience and resolve to make sure we can away with something. This is an area we must improve.
“A number of times this season we’ve been in good positions in games, then in the final 20 minutes or so we let it slip.
“A point would have been a brilliant effort on Saturday, it’s just a shame it slipped away in the end.”
Worthing had appeals for a penalty waved away in the first half as it was scoreless at the interval.
Wing-back Alex Parsons poked over from close-range just after the break as Worthing should have gone ahead.
That would prove costly as Brightlingsea took the lead 20 minutes from time.
Worthing goalkeeper Lucas Covolan made a fine initial save but Gould was on hand to fire home the rebound - despite defender Joel Colbran’s attempts to clear on the line.
Parsons was then adjudged to have fouled a Brightlingsea defender in the area three minutes later, with a penalty awarded.
Hunt stepped up and fired home his first of the game from the spot.
Centre-back Alfie Young picked up two cautions in just three minutes as Worthing were forced to see out the final nine minutes a man light.
Hinshelwood threw forwards Ben Pope and Hayden Skerry on in search of a way back in but they were caught on the counter three minutes from time and Hunt bagged his second.
Worthing boss Hinshelwood believes the outcome could easily have been different.
He said: “People will look at it and think; ‘what happened in the final 20 minutes?’
“It was another game we competed and were in for the large part. We must make sure we come away with something in games like this.”
Worthing's league game at Kingstonian this evening (7.45pm) is subject to a 3pm pitch inspection.
WORTHING: Covolan; Colbran, Young, Rents; Parsons, Budd, Clarke, Sparks; Herbert, Pamment; Wild. Subs: Rance (Wild, 68), Pope (Rents, 82), Skerry (Pamment, 90), Hallard, Sisimayi.