Worcestershire fought back strongly via Ben Cox and the lower order and then through Miguel Cummins' treble breakthrough on day one of the Specsavers County Championship clash with Sussex at Hove.
The visitors stood on 178-7 despite a fine 75 from skipper Daryl Mitchell after the loss of four wickets in the space of 22 balls.
But then Cox once again lived up to his tag of "Mr Reliable" by hitting an excellent 69 as the last three wickets added 128 in shepherding the score to 306 all out and three batting points.
Former New Road paceman Steve Magoffin's five wicket haul took him past the 50 wicket mark for a fifth successive season and he ended with 5-38 from 19 overs.
But West Indies paceman Cummins then got to work with the new ball and by the close Sussex, without the injured Ed Joyce and Luke Wells, had been reduced to 50-4.
Cummins removed Fynn Hudson-Prentice and Craig Cachopa for ducks and had nightwatchman Ollie Robinson leg before in the final over of the day.
Chris Nash (25) was also trapped on the crease by Joe Leach.
Worcestershire elected to bat and lost two early wickets with Brett D'Oliveira (6) edging Chris Jordan to slip and Tom Fell (0) trapped lbw by Magoffin.
Mitchell and Joe Clarke fought back against Sussex’s five-man seam attack in a stand of 97 either side of lunch.
Jordan made the breakthrough after lunch when Clarke (39) flashed outside off stump and was caught behind but then Mitchell and George Rhodes added 57 for the fourth wicket before a flurry of wickets.
Mitchell was caught behind trying to dab Magoffin through the off side and in the next over Tom Kohler-Cadmore (0) offered no shot to an arm ball from left-arm spinner Danny Briggs.
Magoffin then struck twice in successive overs as Rhodes (24) gloved a lifter and Joe Leach (8) was taken low down at slip before Cox led the recovery.
With Ed Barnard giving him solid support, they plundered 48 in six overs after tea with Cox striking Briggs for three sixes down the ground.
After adding 75 in 15 overs, Barnard (30) was held on the mid-wicket boundary but Cummins muscled 25 off 20 balls including an outrageous flat-batted six back over the head of bowler Jofra Archer.
Magoffin was belatedly brought back into the attack and completed his fifth five-for of the season with the second ball of his spell when he bowled Cummins.
Cox was last out for 69 from 87 deliveries, which also included nine fours, when he was well caught by the diving Archer at mid-on two deliveries after David Wiese had taken the second new ball.