Boss Johnson delighted with the way his Brackley players have 'shown up'

Roger Johnson hailed his Brackley Town players for the way they have “shown up” in his first month as manager at St James Park.
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It’s just under five weeks since Johnson arrived to replace Kevin Wilkin and the Saints have put together a nine-match unbeaten run, eight of them under the guidance of Johnson, to move themselves right into contention at the top end of the Vanarama National League North.

Brackley hit top spot in the division with a 3-0 win over Kettering Town in the all-Northamptonshire clash last Saturday as James Armson scored twice after Martin Woods had put them in the lead in the first half.

The Saints then made the long trek to Southport on Tuesday night and were held to a 2-2 draw, which allowed Darlington to take over at the summit on goal difference after they beat Alfreton Town 3-1.

Brackley Town manager Roger Johnson. Picture by Peter ShortBrackley Town manager Roger Johnson. Picture by Peter Short
Brackley Town manager Roger Johnson. Picture by Peter Short

It’s been a relentless schedule since he took over but Johnson admits he couldn’t be happier with the way things have gone so far as he now prepares for a home clash with Curzon Ashton on Saturday.

“I am really happy,” the Brackley boss said.

“It’s been a tough demand on the players and we have a light squad anyway, although we are looking to add to it.

“The lads have come through it, they have massively shown up.

“Thinking back to when I took over and to be where we are after eight games, I’d have taken that all day.

“We can’t rest on that, we have to kick on but I am really looking forward to getting some time on the training pitch.

“That being said, we have the end of the block on Saturday at home again and we will look to get maximum points.”

A depleted Saints squad, with Glenn Walker ruled out because of injury, fell behind to Chris Doyle’s second-minute goal at Southport on Tuesday.

But they hit back to lead 2-1 thanks to Callum Stead and another goal from Armson.

However, they were pegged back with 15 minutes to go when Declan Evans headed home to earn Southport a share of the spoils.

And Johnson added: “I am certainly not saying we should have won the game but we did find ourselves in front with a quarter-of-an-hour to go and it was backs to the wall for a bit.

“We made changes with Glenn (Walker) being out through injury and Woody (Woods) and the demand on his body so we tried to freshen it up a bit.

“It was a tough away game, I didn’t expect anything less. To travel there on a Tuesday night is a tough one, I’m not sure who comes up with these midweek fixtures, but we came out of it without losing and got ourselves another point.

“Overall, when I look back in a couple of weeks, I’ll be happy with it.”