Worthing left 6 points above drop-zone following defeat to Leiston
A goal in each half by Connor Hubble was enough to give play-off chasing Leiston a 2-0 win over struggling Worthing who continue to drop closer to the bottom 4.
Meeney and Elphick gave a debut to defender Tom Cadman, signed on loan from Brighton and Hove Albion late in the week, while goalkeeper Kieron Thorp and captain Kane Wills returned to the starting eleven having missed last week’s 1-0 defeat to Lowestoft through illness and suspension respectively.
The Mackerels got off to the worst possible start when Hubble opened the scoring after he found himself with a free header, six yards out, direct from a corner early into the first half which he dispatched with ease.
However, Louis Clark nearly equalised straight from kick off with a firing effort, 20 yards out, which was stopped well by Jones.
Matt Blake could have extended the lead for the home side when he found himself with space to hit an effort just wide of the mark.
Hendon was working well down the right-side and Dan Summers nearly got on the end of a lovely ball in by the full-back halfway through the first half, but Jones did enough to stop the ball reaching the back of the net.
Summers then found himself with another half chance after a long-throw was aimed towards the striker, but his effort on the turn was sliced wide.
Worthing were showing signs of the type of form that had been missing. O’Neill had a wonderful attempt from a free kick but the ball just drifted wide of the post.
Kieron Thorp saved well with his feet when Blake hit a low shot towards goal.
A push in the back from a Leiston corner resulted in the referee denying the home side their second of the afternoon after the ball was headed into the back of the net.
Worthing almost equalised late on in the first half when the goal opened up for Dan Summers after Cook played a floating ball towards the striker from a free kick. He bought the ball down fantastically but snapped at the shot and the ball sliced wide of the mark.
Confusion between Cook and Thorpe almost resulted in the home side being gifted a goal early in the second half but Cook eventually cleared away.
Worthing had a penalty shout when Wills played a neat ball towards Clark who turned and had an effort, which went wide, but the players were convinced he was caught late.
Hubble then grabbed his second of the afternoon when he faked a shot to pass Heath and then calmly slot the ball away, past Thorpe, into the bottom right corner.
Clark had half a chance late into the game for the visitors but the ball bobbled and he sliced it over the bar.
Blake almost made it worse for the away side after he was played through on goal but Thorpe did well to come out and block the effort.
The loss sees Worthing six points above the drop with the Mackerels playing Merstham away on Tuesday and AFC Sudbury at home on Saturday.
Worthing: Thorp, Hendon, Cadman, Wills, Cook, Heath (Williamson 80′), Sparks (Edwards 75′), O’Neill, Summers (Pope 69′), Clark, Rents.
Subs unused: Belward, Herbert.
Leiston: Jones, Brown, Dunbar, Hutchings, Jefford, Bullard, Cole (Pelling 81′), Heath, Blake (Adam Blades 90′), Muir-Merchant (Schaar 88′), Hubble.
Subs unused: Brothers, Beckwith.
Booked: Cole 43′.
Goals: Hubble 12′, 70′.