Adam Hinshelwood stressed Worthing ‘can’t rest on their laurels’ after Saturday’s 2-0 home win over Sussex rivals Whitehawk extended their unbeaten Bostik Premier run to eight games.
An early David Ajiboye penalty and a second-half Callum Kealy strike secured victory for fifth-placed Worthing as the play-off battle tightens.
Defeats for second-placed Haringey Borough and fourth-placed Merstham means teams from second to tenth are now separated by just nine points.
Hinshelwood said: “We’ve picked up a good run of form and we’ve done it at a good time.
“We’ve got a lot of players back from injury now so we’ve got a good squad to call upon and choose from.
“It’s pleasing that it’s happened at the right time but in this league you can’t rest on your laurels because we’ve got another tough fixture around the corner.
“To go eight unbeaten in this league is good going.”
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Just three minutes in and Worthing were awarded a spot-kick.
Kealy was brought down by Hawks’ Yabnis Ambrosine and Ajiboye coolly slotted home his second penalty in two games to give the hosts the lead.
Alfie Young, Kwame Poku, and Ollie Pearce all had great chances for the hosts but wayward finishing and stout Whitehawk defending prevented Worthing from doubling the advantage before the break.
But five minutes into the second period the home-side finally got their goal.
Ricky Aguiar’s shot was parried out by Hawks’ keeper Melvin Minter but the onrushing Kealy was on hand to thump home.
The visitors responded through Henry Muggeridge and Duane Ofori-Acheampong but Worthing stopper Lucas Covolan was on hand to maintain the two-goal cushion.
A thunderous Aguiar free-kick on 72 minutes was then tipped over by Minter before Jesse Starkey hit the post with nine minutes of the game left.
Although the hosts should have added to the score-line, the full-time whistle signalled a vital three points.
Hinshelwood added: “I felt we had enough chances on the day and on another day I thought we could have made it more comfortable.
“We could’ve come in maybe 2-0, 3-0 up at half-time rather than it just being 1-0.
“Something for us to look at and get better at is taking those chances.”
Worthing travel to Folkestone Invicta on Saturday.
Worthing: Covolan, Colbran, Jones, Aguiar (Pattenden 85), Edwards, Young, Ajiboye (B Barker 90), Poku, Kealy, Pearce (Budd 65), Starkey. Unused: Crane, Clarke.