Adam Hinshelwood defended his decision to change Worthing’s shape in their 3-0 away defeat to Bishop’s Stortford in the Bostik Premier on Saturday.
The evergreen Jamie Cureton gave the hosts the lead at half-time before Shadrack Ogie and Cureton struck again to seal the win for the Blues.
This was the Mackerel Men’s second successive 3-0 away loss following last weekend’s defeat at champions Dorking Wanderers.
Defeat saw Worthing slip to fifth and the Mackerel Men are just a point clear of sixth-placed Leatherhead as the play-off battle intensifies.
Hinshelwood said: “Up until the first goal I think it could have gone either way.
“Maybe we changed shape too early to try and get ourselves back into the game where, in hindsight, both times we’ve changed shape we’ve gone on to lose 3-0.
“Maybe that’s something I’ve got to learn but I thought it was for the good of the team and a good way for us to try and get back into the game.
“We had to try something to get back into the game but it didn’t transpire that way.”
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The hosts attacked from the off, and Worthing stopper Lucas Covolan had to be at his best to deny Ryan Charles on two occasions.
Stortford took the lead on 26 minutes. Cureton struck from the penalty spot after Ogie was brought down inside the box by Joel Colbran.
David Ajiboye was denied an equaliser on 38 minutes after Blues keeper Arthur Janata turned the Worthing winger’s shot over.
Jesse Starkey hit the top of the Stortford bar on the hour but the home side were in full control of the game.
Stortford doubled the advantage on 79 minutes as Ogie’s 25-yard shot found the net.
Cureton rounded off the scoring two minutes later. Charles delivered a fine ball across goal for the ageless striker who finished with aplomb.
Hinshelwood added: “It was a disappointing penalty for us to give away. There was no need to make that challenge in my opinion.
“Conceding the first goal seems to be affecting our confidence so it’s definitely something we need to address and look at going forward.
“We’re not always going to have it our way and we’re not always going to score the first goal so we need to adapt and learn to better.”
The Mackerel Men have two games over the Easter break. They host third-placed Tonbridge Angels on Good Friday before travelling to 17th-placed Corinthian Casuals on Easter Monday.
Worthing: Covolan, Colbran, Jones, Aguiar (Crane 55), Clarke, Young, Ajiboye, Parsons, Kealy, Pearce (Budd 55), Starkey. Unused: Ikeije, B Barker, Edwards.