The Portimonense defence had a morning to forget as Gil Vicente emerged the 2-1 winners from a very windy encounter last Sunday.
Manager Vítor Oliveira’s promotion favourites kept opposition keeper Vozinha busy over most of the 90 minutes, with Fabrício, Gleison and Paulinho in particular enjoying plenty of shots on target without finding the back of the net.
Meanwhile, Gil Vicente, now on a four-match winning run as opposed to Portimonense’s third successive defeat, were happy to sit back and wait for mistakes.
The blustery conditions did not help, however there was still no excuse for Avto to be left completely unmarked half way through the second half and the Gil Vicente captain took full advantage to put his side ahead.
Pires did level the scores briefly from what appeared to be an off-side position before another defensive mix-up allowed Firmino to latch on to a poor Dener pass, his effort subsequently coming off Luis Mata for the winning goal. There was still time for a third ‘strike’ from the visitors, but this time the off-side flag was up.
Afterwards, Oliveira played down the impact of the latest string of bad results, stating that the club’s position was still pretty secure thanks to performances during the rest of the season.
The latest reversal was made less painful by closest pursuers Aves’ goalless draw with Académica on Friday evening.
With seven matches remaining, Portimonense still head their rivals by five points and are 12 clear of third-placed Varzim.
Next up is a Saturday away trip to much-improved Sporting Braga B before Wednesday afternoon’s top-of-the-table home clash with Aves.
By SKIP BANDELE