Welling United fell to their first defeat in four games at Worthing on Tuesday evening.
A cagey affair was broken by a penalty awarded to the home side with 21 minutes remaining, before they added a second late on, but that was no reflection on Welling, who gave an excellent account of themselves in Sussex.
The first 45 minutes were played out in cagey fashion with both sides feeling each other out in search of a rare opening.
Speculative shots from distance were the order of the half with both sides trying their luck without hitting the target, although Antony Papadopoulos did come close when he lifted the ball just over the bar with a clever effort on the volley just before the half-hour mark.
The hosts, meanwhile, came closest through Juan Luque, who forced Ben Winterbottom into a good save down to his left.
Worthing began to enjoy more of the ball in the second half, but the Wings continued to defend diligently, keeping the home side at arms’ length, while looking to catch them on the break.
Jepthe Tanga burst forward to lay off Cameron Green, who saw his shot blocked in the box, while Welling forced a sloppy backpass into the box from a Rebels defender which was pounced on by sub Kareeem Isiaka, but he could only force a save from keeper Rocco Rees.
Another counter-attack saw Lewis White cross brilliantly for Isiaka, who couldn’t divert his header towards goal, while Tanga fired over from a tight angle shortly after.
Just as the Wings were beginning to get on top, however, their resolve was broken from the penalty spot.
Jack Burchall was adjudged to have pushed Bailey Smith in the box, allowing substitute Ollie Pearce to have the opportunity to put his side in front and he did just that, sending Winterbottom the wrong way.
That knocked the stuffing out of the visitors somewhat and Worthing added a second 10 minutes later when Ricky Aguilar found the top corner with a well-hit effort from the edge of the box.
Despite defeat, there was plenty of positives to take for the Wings who more than held their own against one of the early-season pace setters.
Danny Bloor’s men will go again when they host Bath City at the J Hearnden Skip Hire Community Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Worthing: Rees, Colbran, Racine, Rye, Luer (Pearce 61), Luque (Fish, 61), Sorondo, Aguilar, Smith, Felix, Cashman (Wills 80).
Subs (not used): Myles-Meekums, Tutt.
Booked: Fish 74 (foul on Vaughan), Sorondo 82 (obstruction)
Goals: Pearce 69 (pen), Aguilar 79
Welling United: Winterbottom, Lema, Byrd, Burchell, Green (Adom 81), Vaughan, Odusanya, Tanga, White, Papadopoulos (MacAllister 89), Kamara (Isiaka 57).
Subs (not used): Andrews, Kassarate.
Booked: Green 25 (foul), Vaughan 58 (foul)
Referee: Morgan Conn