SKIPPER Chris Park knows Bournemouth must find a cure for their Achilles heel if promotion to the top flight of the Southern Premier League is to become a reality.

Park, who also captains Dorset, is in his first season in the Chapel Gate hot seat and Lions have experienced fluctuating fortunes under his charge.

Four wins in their first five games suggested Bournemouth would be genuine promotion challengers as they looked to regain the Premier Division status they lost in 2013.

But the optimism was sapped when they suffered three defeats in their next four – including dispiriting reverses at the hands of lowly Tichborne Park and Sarisbury Athletic.

Lions got back on track with consecutive victories over Rowledge and Portsmouth before their progress was checked following successive wash-outs against Hook & Newnham Basics and Calmore.

Currently third and just nine points behind leaders Basingstoke & North Hants, four of Lions’ remaining five games are against clubs in the bottom five – two of whom have already lowered their colours.

“That has been our weakness, our Achilles heel,” said Park, who takes Bournemouth to eighth-placed Liphook & Ripsley on Saturday before they host Basingstoke at Chapel Gate on August 12.

“Unfortunately, it is one of those things but we have lost games this season I didn’t expect us to lose, which has been frustrating.

“Away at Tichborne, Sarisbury and Calmore, our batting didn’t fire as a team. We have been pretty strong at home this season so long may that continue.”

League champions in 2010 and runners-up the following season, Bournemouth have finished outside the top three in Division One since losing their Premier Division place four years ago.

But with five games to go, Park is calling on his players to redouble their efforts as the class of 2017 looks to bring back the glory days to Chapel Gate.

He added: “Every game is a cup final for us now, starting at Liphook on Saturday.

“They have somehow slipped into the bottom half of table having been near the top at the start. I consider them to be quite a strong side so we will need to be on our game.

“We have some banana skins left so need to approach them properly.

“Basingstoke have to come to us and our home form has been decent. We let ourselves down at their place so, hopefully, we can put in a better performance at home.

“I was looking forward to playing Calmore and trying to get one over them and climbing the table but, like everyone else, we were beaten by the weather.

“I have asked the lads for good availability for the rest of the season. Things have been a bit stop-start with our form and consistency and the past two weeks have not helped.

“Hopefully, the big players in the side – and we have plenty of them – can put in some match-winning performances in the final five games.”