Johnson refusing to wave white flag
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