Adam Hinshelwood was pleased with Worthing’s defensive performance against Chesham United on Saturday.
A sturdy back line shut out the Buckinghamshire team despite Sam Rents being sent off just before half-time, ushering the Mackerel Men into the third qualifying round of the FA Trophy.
David Ajiboye headed from Jesse Starkey’s accurate cross to score the only goal of the game, though there were plenty of chances for both sides.
Manager Hinshelwood particularly praised the ever-present Danny Barker, who slotted in alongside returning Joel Colbran at centre-back after Rents left the pitch.
He said: “He’s so reliable.
"He’s such a great player to have in the squad - you can play him anywhere on the pitch. He probably goes unnoticed by the fans but the work he gets through and the balls he gets for us is fantastic. His ball retention was incredible.”
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Hinshelwood was also impressed with goalkeeper Kleton Perntreou’s performance after the Greek-Albanian kept his first clean sheet since joining Worthing.
He said: “He’s only getting better with each game. We just want him to be a bit more confident and a bit more vocal and to start coming to claim stuff off his line. The saves he made today ultimately won us the game. You need that when you’re down to ten men.”
But Hinshelwood saw room for improvement in the team’s attacking performances.
He said: “We possibly could’ve gone and snatched another one for us in the second half to make it easier for ourselves. We had some chances still in the second half, but from the positions that we managed to get ourselves in, we still didn’t get enough shots on target.
“Our play’s good up to a certain point but it’s really the decision-making when we get into that final third. Maybe it’s time to shoot, to look for one-twos, or to dribble, but it’s a bit off at the moment. I’ve got full faith in the attacking players that we’ve got in the club - they’ll work on that and get that right. We’ve got some real talent there.”
Worthing now face a tough league away trip on Tuesday to promotion rivals Enfield Town, who are the league’s top scorers and lie one point above the Reds in third.
Hinshelwood said of the upcoming tie: “The lads are trying to prepare the best they can for that - it’s what’s expected of them. We had a huddle in front of the fans today and I wanted them to know that it’s a big club they’re playing for here. They’ll have to turn up again on Tuesday and give a similar effort.”