Porthleven’s recent woes took yet another turn for the worse after letting a lead slip on three occasions to lose 5-4 at Plymstock United in their South West Peninsula League Division 1 West clash on Saturday.

The Fishermen led 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 but had to fight back to 4-4 with just two minutes left, only to concede a decisive fifth goal in injury-time to condemn the visitors to their fourth defeat in their last six games.

Hayden Dark (2), Rob Carey and Scott Kellow netted for Port as the latest chapter in what has been a miserable second half of the season for the Gala Parc club was written.

Manager Alan Carey said: “We just can’t defend at the moment. Our confidence is low, we’re suffering with numbers at the moment we only had a bare 11 yesterday [Saturday] and it’s all gone a bit I’m afraid. Confidence is low in the camp but we’re within three points of possibly securing third place and I think that’s what we’ve got to try and aim for.”

“Yesterday [Saturday] was a catalogue of errors really. You just couldn’t believe it; we went from looking so comfortable that we weren’t going to lose, to losing it. It was just absolutely ridiculous, but that’s the way things have gone for us lately.”

The turning point in Port’s season came in January and February, when the Fishermen lost a crucial match at home to then title rivals Liskeard Athletic, before being knocked out of both the Cornwall Senior Cup and Cornwall Charity Cup at the quarter-final stage within a three-week period.

“It just took us down and we never came back from it to be honest,” Carey said. “But we’ve got to pick ourselves up now if we can and face Wendron [on Good Friday] who have already done us twice this year, so again it’s a difficult game.

“It looks like we’ll have a few numbers back by then so we will be a bit stronger, but that’s all we can do now.”

The defeat to Liskeard marked the beginning of the end of the Fishermen’s title charge, with a run of just one win in their last six games seeing them drop to third behind in-form Mousehole.

The task for Carey’s men now is to cling to third spot, with St Dennis and Wadebridge Town breathing down the Fishermen’s necks.

Porthleven may need to win both games to hold off the Saints, but Carey feels three points will be enough.

“That’s all I can look at, at the moment really,” Carey said. “To try and get a third spot finish and I think if we can do that then that’s not such a bad season, we’ll be happy with that.”