You can’t have half a performance, says Brackley manager Johnson

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Roger Johnson was left furious with Brackley Town’s second-half performance after their Vanarama National League North title hopes suffered another setback at the weekend.

The Saints were beaten 1-0 in the all-Northamptonshire clash at Kettering Town with Frankie Maguire’s late goal condemning them to back-to-back defeats for the first time since Johnson arrived at St James Park.

And the Brackley boss admitted his team can’t afford to have “half a performance”.

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The Saints were the better team in the opening period at Latimer Park with George Carline having an effort ruled out for offside while Cosmos Matwasa blasted over with their best chance.

Action from Brackley Town's 1-0 defeat at Kettering Town on Saturday. Picture by Peter ShortAction from Brackley Town's 1-0 defeat at Kettering Town on Saturday. Picture by Peter Short
Action from Brackley Town's 1-0 defeat at Kettering Town on Saturday. Picture by Peter Short

But Johnson conceded the second-half display wasn’t good enough as the Poppies worked their way into things before striking the killer blow with nine minutes to go.

Brackley now sit five points behind the top two of King’s Lynn Town and AFC Fylde who are only separated by goal difference after sharing a 3-3 draw on Saturday.

“I am disappointed with the performance from the first half to the second half,” Johnson said as he reflected on the defeat at Kettering, which came after a 1-0 loss at Boston United last Tuesday.

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“I thought we were excellent in the first half. We came out for the second and I expected it to happen and it didn’t.

“For one reason or another, the players were not doing what they were doing in the first half. That isn’t the message I sent.

“Maybe I was a bit nice at half-time after giving them the encouragement and telling them to keep doing what they were doing.

“Next time, I will rocket them. When we are on top, I will go on the flipside to that and volley them because I need to keep them at it. Maybe I will take a bit of blame, if it is that.

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“But, certainly in the second half, we weren’t anywhere near the level we were in the first.

“We didn’t test them enough. Cosmos had a great chance in the first half. I’m not going to blame the pitch because they had to play on it as well. That has to be a goal.

“The linesman thought our goal we had disallowed was offside. We will look back at it.

“But you can’t have half a performance, I’m afraid, and expect to come out with anything from these teams who are scrapping for their lives.

“They (Kettering) are what they are and they have ended up coming away with three points when, really, in the first half we should have been out of sight.”