Worthing United Football Club joint manager Martyn Rea could not fault his side’s performance despite leaving Middle Road empty-handed on Saturday.
United’s search for their first league win continued as they were beaten 3-1 at Shoreham, but Rea believes they are heading in the right direction.
He said: “We are starting to look stronger and we are improving, so it’s encouraging. We took the game to them at times, so I was happy with that and we are definitely progressing.”
The match saw two own goals and a controversial red card for Mark Pulling after he had netted a brace for the hosts.
Mussels took the lead after just seven minutes when Alex Staines diverted the ball past his own goalkeeper following a drilled ball from Kit Tregar.
Both sides created decent chances and just as United looked to be getting back into the match, Pulling converted a fine free kick into the bottom corner on 26 minutes to double his team’s advantage. Shoreham effectively killed the game as a contest just before half-time, as Pulling finished a well-worked move with a back-post tap-in.
Within six minutes of the restart, Pulling was shown a straight red for a challenge in the penalty area - a decision both managers labelled as “bizarre”.
United may have emerged with at least a point if it was not for an inspired display by home goalkeeper Jamie Shaw.
They did net a late consolation when substitute Chris Welbelove’s shot was deflected in via Lee Eastman late on.