Porthleven assistant manager Steve Allen says a top eight finish is a realistic proposition for the Gala Parc club this season, as he and Dennis Annear continue to focus on bringing through youth.
The club’s form has been patchy, but the team of youngsters Annear has assembled have performed admirably against some of the league’s more established names - and even surprising one or two along the way.
The recent game against Wadebridge was, Allen says, a perfect example of the way Port’s season has unfolded so far.
“We got off to a terrible start which didn’t help,” he said.
“It was disapppointing, but the majority of goals we conceded were our own fault. We gave them four, basically.
“By half time we were three goals down, but we could have gone in level. That’s been the story of our season so far really. We just don’t seem to score enough goals.”
It’s difficult to criticise Porthleven for a lack of consistency in the wake of so many weather-related postponements over the last few months, and Allen is in no doubt the disruption to the fixture list has played a big part in preventing his side find form in the league.
“We do well and then we have a blip,” he said.
“Not playing for three or four months is obviously not going to help that, and over the last two months its not been good for us at all.
“You need to get on a roll and that’s difficult if you’re only playing one or two games in a month, but I think a top eight finish has got to be the goal this season.
“We’ve got Mousehole next and then Dobwalls in the Charity Cup, so we’ll be looking to do well in those games and really kick on from there.”
And who would bet against them? There’s no shortage of ability at Gala Parc, and Annear’s side have been rightly lauded for their commitment to playing good football.
But if there is a weakness, it lies in their inexeperience. More than once this season Port have consipered to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory with some naive play at the back.
It’s a problem Annear and Allen are acutely aware of, and something they continue to work on as their young side develops.
“Sometimes you need a senior player in there,” said Allen, who has started several games this season, providing a sense of solidity at the back.
“You need someone to tell them to calm down and bring them into positions they should be in, instead of them just racing around.”
But despite their occasional over-exuberance, Porthleven find themselves in the quarter finals of the Cornwall Charity Cup, and they're in with a chance of bringing silverware back to Gala Parc. Allen is cautiously optimistic.
“Rome wasn’t built in a day,” he said. “But we’ve got Dobwalls in the quarter finals, and if we’re focused from the start no one’s going to want to play us. On our day we can beat anyone.”