Johnson urges Brackley to take their chances as tough away games lie ahead

Taking chances and improving the away form.
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Roger Johnson knows those two things need to happen quickly as Brackley Town look to consolidate their play-off place in the Vanarama National League North in the last eight games of the season.

The Saints have won just once in their last seven matches – a run of form that has knocked them out of the title race.

Johnson’s team sit in fourth place and are still on course for an extended campaign but now face a tough run of three away games in a row as they head to Spennymoor Town this weekend before further trips to leaders AFC Fylde and Farsley Celtic follow on.

Brackley Town boss Roger Johnson. Picture by Glenn AlcockBrackley Town boss Roger Johnson. Picture by Glenn Alcock
Brackley Town boss Roger Johnson. Picture by Glenn Alcock

And boss Johnson knows his team must start taking their opportunities.

“That’s our downfall,” he said. “We create and don’t take.

“That’s definitely cost us being a contender to win the league and now we just need to secure our place in the play-offs.

“There’s been a bit of inconsistency, we haven’t had the rub of the green but that evens itself out and I’m certainly not going to cry over refereeing mistakes because we have had a couple where it’s gone our way.

“We are in a bit of a spot but if I am putting a positive spin on it, we are unbeaten in two going into the weekend.

“It’s a horrible run and our away form has to pick up, it’s another downfall.

“I think we are second in the league for home form and 12th away so it needs to change.

It’s a run now where we go to Spennymoor, Fylde and Farsley all in the space of eight days so it’s going to be tough.”

Brackley boosted their defensive options this week with the addition of experienced centre-half Matt Preston, who has joined on loan from Solihull Moors for the rest of the season.

That move comes after the Saints needed a late goal from Levi Amantchi to salvage a point in a 1-1 draw with Blyth Spartans at St James Park last weekend.

And Johnson admitted he lost his temper with his team trailing at the break as they were unable to build on a good performance in a 1-1 stalemate with King’s Lynn Town.

“After the Tuesday game (against King’s Lynn), I expected the boys to be absolutely at it and build on that performance,” Johnson added.

“Certainly, as soon as we conceded it looked like the lads had gone within themselves.

“We were second to everything and I am glad half-time came when it came. I lost my temper because we can’t just turn the willingness and the fight on and off.

“In any division, you have to match the fight otherwise the rest of it – tactics, formation – is irrelevant.

“It was a great reaction in the second half. We had one disallowed that should have been a goal so, again, a refereeing mistake cost us a little bit.

“Then we have had clear-cut chances and not taken them and we were scratching around to the death to get a penalty.

“I’d have been really angry if we had come out of it with nothing.”