Promotion prospects are rapidly disappearing in the distance as Portimonense managed just a single point from their latest brace of league matches.
The mid-week trip to the Azores saw manager Carlos Azenha’s men deliver yet another insipid performance against Santa Clara and the lack of creativity was duly punished by opposition striker Batatinha who deceived three defenders before rounding the keeper to slot home for the only goal of the afternoon.
In contrast, last Sunday afternoon’s Algarve derby featuring Farense should have produced a landslide victory which, unfortunately, was not reflected in the final 1-1 score line.
The visitors from the region’s capital began well enough but lost their cohesion following the withdrawal through injury of team Captain Hugo Luz. Soon afterwards a trademark cross from opposite number Ricardo Pessoa was converted by Zambujo to give the home side a comfortable half-time lead.
After the interval, Portimonense continued to dominate clearly in all areas while a good handful of chances went begging, in part due to an inspired display from aptly-named Farense keeper São Bento.
The frustration became all too apparent as the final minutes ticked away, culminating in home goalkeeping coach Pedro Silva being banished to the stands after Mailo had pulled Farense level from a rare counter attack shortly before the final whistle.
The combined results leave Portimonense in 11th place, now 11 points adrift of Freamunde and Tondela, who share second behind leaders Chaves.
The next opportunity to start a renewed charge up the table will be this Sunday morning when a trip to Porto B is on the agenda.
By SKIP BANDELE