FALMOUTH will be desperate to end a losing run of six matches in Western Counties when they take on fellow strugglers Sidmouth at the Recreation Ground on Saturday (2.30pm).

Both teams are on 14 points and only Burnham-on-Sea are beneath them in the table, but coach Graham Whitmore remains upbeat about the challenges ahead.

"We've had a very difficult November in which we've played three of the top four sides. In this league we have to be on top of our game every week, because the errors are almost always punished at this level."

Sidmouth have won their last three games, including a notable success over title-chasing Devonport Services on Saturday.

Falmouth held a 12-3 lead at St Austell for almost an hour on Saturday, but second half mistakes saw them go down 22-12 against their third-placed opponents.

Their cause has not been helped by injuries to back rows Matt Brewer and Tommy Tonkins, as well as centre Alex Kindjarski.

Brewer could well be out for the season with a badly torn hamstring, while Tonkins and Kindjarski have shoulder and neck problems respectively, which may mean they don't return to action until after Christmas.

"I'm delighted with the way the boys who have come into the squad have responded. Besides those three lads we have several who are being patched up to play. We're not making excuses but it has been a very testing period," said Whitmore.

"All the players have a real ambition to got out and perform well. It is a long season and I'm very confident that if we stick to our processes, the results will come. Confidence is rising each week."

After the crunch clash against Sidmouth, the Eagles have two more huge matches before Christmas, when they visit Paignton before hosting Tiverton on December 16. Both sides are in the bottom half of the table.