We aren’t going away, warns Brackley boss Johnson after return to winning ways

“We aren’t going away!”
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That was the clear message from Brackley Town manager Roger Johnson after his team returned to winning ways on Tuesday night.

After a run of three games without a victory, including last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Chorley at St James Park, the Saints hit back in midweek with a 2-1 success at Kidderminster Harriers.

Sam Smart put Brackley in front but the hosts levelled before Callum Stead struck the winner with seven minutes to go.

Callum Stead jumps for joy after scoring Brackley Town's winner in their 2-1 success at Kidderminster Harriers on Tuesday. Pictures by Glenn AlcockCallum Stead jumps for joy after scoring Brackley Town's winner in their 2-1 success at Kidderminster Harriers on Tuesday. Pictures by Glenn Alcock
Callum Stead jumps for joy after scoring Brackley Town's winner in their 2-1 success at Kidderminster Harriers on Tuesday. Pictures by Glenn Alcock

The win move Johnson’s team back up to third in the Vanarama National League North and they are four points behind leaders AFC Fylde and three adrift of second-placed King’s Lynn Town with the top two both having games in hand.

Brackley are now gearing up for a trio of matches against teams struggling at the other end of the table as they host Bradford (Park Avenue) on Saturday before travelling to Boston United next Tuesday night and county rivals Kettering Town a week on Saturday.

And Johnson said: “We’ve got 16 games to go and we are in and around it. We aren’t going away, that’s for sure.

“We need people to slip up but if they do, we have got to capitalise.

The Brackley Town players and fans celebrate their late winner at KidderminsterThe Brackley Town players and fans celebrate their late winner at Kidderminster
The Brackley Town players and fans celebrate their late winner at Kidderminster

“I was frustrated on Saturday against Chorley because we should have won the game but we didn’t.

“Thankfully we got the points on Tuesday and we have kept ourselves in there.

“The games we have coming up are the ones people view as ones we should win but they are tough matches because teams are scrapping for their lives.

“I always make it clear that we can’t go into any game with the mentality that we can just turn up and win.

“These are games that are must-win, certainly at home.

“It won’t be easy and it was a real scrap with Bradford up there but we are at home and should be full of confidence after Tuesday night.”

Johnson was honest enough to admit his team might not have fully deserved all three points at Kidderminster on Tuesday.

But that seemed to make the victory all-the-more satisfying as he conceded his players put in an “ugly performance” to get back to winning ways.

“Kidderminster is a tough place to go and we got the result,” he added.

“Did we deserve it? Probably not. But you have to put in those ugly performances and we have got that in us.

“It was backs to the walls for parts of the game but the boys dealt with it and we have always got that threat of a goal.

“I was absolutely buzzing to come away with three points.

“It’s happened up to us where we should have come away with a win but haven’t so it goes full circle and evens itself out over the course of a season.”