PORT Glasgow’s already fading hopes of challenging for promotion suffered another blow on Saturday with this defeat to league leaders Rossvale.

With the winter weather seeing only a handful of matches getting the go-ahead in the entire West Region, it was a credit to the ground staff at Parklea that the 3G pitch had been cleared of snow and was presented in an immaculate condition.

But the result brought more Parklea pain for Craig Brown’s men, who have now won just one of their seven home games played so far this season.

And yet the frustrating thing was that Rossvale were definitely there for the taking on Saturday.

Although they were missing a few key players, they looked anything but convincing, and had the Port converted any of a number of first half chances they created, they could have gone on to win.

The home side survived an early scare when a shot by Yami Misanjo, who was to prove to be quite a handful for the Port defence, rebounded into the path of Alex Cassells, but the teenager just failed to connect.

Thereafter it was Port Glasgow who made most of the running, with an effort from Ross Kearns hitting the side-netting, and a few chances falling to Graham Black.

The most notable of these was when the striker was put through one-on-one with Rossvale keeper Jordan Bowskill on 27 minutes, but fired his shot wide of the post. The missed chances were cruelly punished by Rossvale as they hit the Port with a quick-fire brace of goals in the space of 60 seconds just before half-time.

Centre-forward Fraser Team opened the scoring on 44 minutes, with the tricky Misanjo doubling their lead in the final action of the half.

Any chance of a Port revival was snuffed out within eight minutes of the second half, as the north Glasgow side hit another rapid double.

It was that man Misanjo who got both, the first when he robbed Eddie Walton of possession on 47 minutes and went on to net, followed by the completion of his hat-trick six minutes later with a shot under Port keeper Ian Nixon.

Rossvale were now enjoying the freedom of Parklea, and almost netted again with an attempt which hit the crossbar.But on 65 minutes Jamie McKenna drove home for his second goal in two games since joining Port Glasgow from Greenock.

A comeback looked highly improbable, but the Port did have a few chances to add to their tally, with sub Steven MacAfee looking lively, and Kevin McKay having a few attempts at goal.

But in truth Rossvale now looked comfortable in the knowledge that the points were in the bag, with this win seeing them take another step towards their first ever league title, leaving the other clubs in the Central Second Division to fight it out for the two remaining promotion places.

Port Glasgow’s assistant manager Scott Jackson said: ‘’I couldn’t believe we went in 2-0 down at half-time, with the amount of chances we created.

‘’But the manner in which we are conceding goals is totally unacceptable. And yet again when we lost one, we lost another soon after. Defensively, the whole team is giving away cheap goals, and it is costing us dearly.’’ PORT GLASGOW: Nixon, Gordon, Coyle, Walton, McClement, Gault (Grana 83), Kearns, McKay, McKenna, Black (MacAfee 60), Jamieson (McLaughlin 60). Subs not used: Bowie, McCormick.

l Port Glasgow Juniors are sponsored by Regents Vehicle Sales, Greenock, and MAC HSL Ltd.

l Greenock’s match at Thorniewood was one of many which were postponed at the weekend because of the snow and ice.

The Uddingston club had indicated on Friday evening that the match was highly unlikely to go ahead, so it was no surprise to Greenock officials when the call came through early on Saturday morning to confirm that the match was off. The squad still assembled, though, for a brief training session at Inverclyde Academy.