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Gilbert: "Win puts relegation fears to bed"
12:11pm Thursday 21st February 2013 in Sport
FALMOUTH Town managers Les Gilbert and Robbie Stephens say that victory over Penzance on Friday night finally puts all talk of relegation to bed.
The duo, who took over from former manager Alan Carey in October last year, have been without a win in all that time.
But that changed on Friday night, when goals from Tom Whipp and returning striker Rob Wearne were enough to see off a spirited Magpies side who are firmly rooted to the bottom of the premier division.
Falmouth remain in 16th position in the league, but are 19 points clear of Penzance, who face an impossible task ahead of them if they are to avoid dropping into division one west.
But with both Gilbert and Stephens counting Magpies manager John Dent as a friend, there were muted scenes at the final whistle, with Stephens describing his overriding emotion being one of relief, after a late Penzance goal from a free kick put the win in doubt.
“We tried our best to bring them back into it,” he said. “We just cannot seem to defend free kicks in the last third of the pitch. I don’t know what it is because we work on it in training and we’ve got big lads at the back.
“Whatever the problem is we need to sort it out, because we’ve done that three games on the trot now.”
Gilbert agreed, but admitted securing that first victory was liberating.
“It gives us a bit of confidence now to go forward,” he said.
“We got a good little squad here. We’ve got Bovey Tracey next, and if we beat them it puts us above Torpoint. If we can finish top of the bottom six I’d be quite happy with that.”
Dent was furious with several decisions that went against Penzance on the night, and both Gilbert and Stephens sympathised with his position.
“I feel for him,” said Gilbert, “When you’re down there you sometimes feel like everything’s against you, but I’ve got to be honest, from our point of view if feels good to put the relegation thing to bed.
“It’s just not going to happen now. We’re on 21 points and they’ve got two. They’re running out of games. We’ve come a long way, though. I think we deserved this.”
Town play Bovey Tracey at Bickland Park on Saturday. Kick off is at 3pm.