Ilfracombe Town manager Ross Middleton insists season is not over
ROSS MIDDLETON has urged his Ilfracombe Town players to put the disappointment of their Les Phillips Cup exit behind them.
The Bluebirds lost 2-1 at Larkhall Athletic in an "outrageously frustrating" second-round tie on Saturday.
They begin a busy two months in the Toolstation Western League premier division with a trip to Gillingham Town at the weekend.
Although the cup represented their last chance to win a trophy, manager Middleton said the season was far from over.
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"We have got fifteen games in eight weeks," he said. "It's a quarter of a season and we can't wait to get some games churned out.
"We are not setting a target, we just want to win as many games as we can."
Middleton blamed the match officials for the defeat at Larkhall after Ilfracombe led with a first-half penalty from Billy Tucker.
The hosts equalised with a controversial penalty and Ilfracombe claimed their winning goal was offside.
"We are gutted to go out of the cup," said Middleton. "We feel absolutely cheated.
"The performance was there and we have been done by something that's out of our hands.
"Unfortunately a plonker with a whistle has cost us, in our opinion."
Stan Paxton, who was cup-tied from his spell with Willand Rovers, will return at Gillingham on Saturday.
James Mayne has had an operation on a broken cheekbone and is expected to be out for five more weeks.