GILLINGHAM may not be mathematically there just yet but the touchline celebrations gave it away.

The madcap reaction from the coaching staff to the decisive stoppage-time goal in Good Friday’s 3-1 win over Plymouth betrayed the relief among the Kent side.

A recent wobble, culminating in a dreadful home loss to Shrewsbury, had seen the Gills sucked back into the extended League One relegation dogfight.

So, the response to witnessing the come-from-behind victory over Plymouth was understandable.

Chairman Paul Scally had labelled the Shrews defeat as “unacceptable” to crank up the pressure.

But the win over another side now firmly in the mire gives them a six-point cushion on the bottom four going into the Valley Parade clash.

First-team coach Ian Cox admitted the weight is nearly off their shoulders.

He said: “You start the job at the beginning of the season and the task first and foremost was to secure safety. If you can push on, so be it.

"First and foremost, it is all about securing safety in League One.

“The manager knows his players and he picked a team to go out there and they have proved a lot of critics wrong.

“Fair play to the boys for standing up to the test. They were under a lot of pressure, they stood up to it and it is testament to the boys. They showed their mental strength.”

Tom Eaves, Gillingham’s 20-goal top scorer, was taken off at half-time with Plymouth leading.

But he is likely to be restored to the frontline to face the Bantams. The former Bolton striker scored twice in the 4-0 win over them at Priestfield Stadium in October – as well as having a penalty saved by Richard O’Donnell.

Preston loanee Graham Burke missed out on Friday with an infected foot. His replacement Regan Charles-Cook sparked the comeback with the equaliser and is set to keep his place.