John­son re­fus­ing to wave white flag

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Jon Palmer

GARY John­son re­fused to sur­ren­der in his bid to keep Chel­tenham Town in the Foot­ball League af­ter suf­fer­ing de­feat at old club Northamp­ton Town.

Goals in the sec­ond half from Ivan Toney and re­turn­ing skip­per Marc Richards kept the Cob­blers out­side chance of reach­ing the play-offs alive and left John­son’s Robins in the bot­tom two with two games left.

“We were thrown around by Northamp­ton and we didn’t show any strength in our men­tal or phys­i­cal state,” John­son said.

“It’s go­ing to be a big turn­around, but it can still be done. We’ve also lost our cap­tain Matt Tay­lor to in­jury as well.

“We didn’t have enough play and I am not one to tell fibs. We didn’t play well enough to war­rant any­thing and I feel sorry for the sup­port­ers.

“But we’ll do all we can to keep this team up so let’s wait and see.

“We need play­ers back from in­jury and we need more out there.

“We need to do bet­ter than two other teams to stay up and Northamp­ton is not an easy place to come.

“They have some good in­di­vid­ual play­ers and we didn’t get near them of­ten enough.

“The team tried to work hard, but the qual­ity was lack­ing with crosses and set pieces and there wasn’t a goal op­por­tu­nity due to a lack of qual­ity.”

Northamp­ton boss Chris Wilder was happy with his side’s dis­play as they made it an un­happy re­turn to Six­fields for John­son.

“It was a good all­round per­for­mance,” Wilder said. “We got a bit sloppy at the end, giv­ing them a cou­ple of op­por­tu­ni­ties in the last five min­utes that we should have done bet­ter with.

“It was im­por­tant to get the first goal, which is the case at any level but es­pe­cially at home and af­ter that we were com­fort­able win­ners.

“We have not kept the ball out of the back of the net enough times this sea­son, but we never have a prob­lem scor­ing or con­trol­ling games.”

Northamp­ton took a de­served lead in the 57th minute when Law­son D’Ath’s cross from the left was touched in from close range by Toney for his tenth goal of the sea­son.

The lead was dou­bled in the 70th minute when Richards, who had been on the pitch for three min­utes, re­ceived D’Ath’s pass, made room for a shot and fired past Trevor Car­son em­phat­i­cally.

It was Richards’ 18th strike of the cam­paign, an im­pres­sive fig­ure con­sid­er­ing his in­jury prob­lems.

He nearly had a sec­ond in the 79th minute, but his shot was blocked by Brown and two goals were enough as Chel­tenham faded and never threat­ened to mount a come­back.

STAR MAN LAWSO

N D’ATH Northa

mpton

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