Boss Johnson is hoping it will be a big year for Brackley

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Roger Johnson is hoping it will be a big year for Brackley Town.

The Saints kicked off 2023 in fine style on New Year’s Day as Levi Amantchi’s first goal for the club earned them a 1-0 victory at local rivals Banbury United after the two teams had shared a 1-1 draw in the first meeting at St James Park on Boxing Day.

The success in front of over 1,700 fans at the Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium extended Brackley’s unbeaten league run under Johnson to 14 games and, at the time, sent them back to the top of the Vanarama National League North, although they were then overtaken by Darlington after they won 5-2 at Scarborough Athletic on Monday.

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Johnson has made no secret of his aim and that is to lead Brackley to promotion this season.

Brackley Town boss Roger Johnson. Picture by Peter ShortBrackley Town boss Roger Johnson. Picture by Peter Short
Brackley Town boss Roger Johnson. Picture by Peter Short

But the big games just keep coming as they host fourth-placed Chester on Saturday while huge re-arranged clashes against fellow high-flyers King’s Lynn Town and Scarborough Athletic also lie ahead this month.

“The 14 games unbeaten, I couldn’t have asked for a better start,” Johnson said.

“It just keeps going and I am really pleased the lads have brought into me and the staff so we are happy with them in that respect.

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“There’s no reason it can’t go from now until the end of the season. If we are at it in every game, we are capable of getting something from all of them.

“As soon as we drop our level, we know we will find ourselves in a spot of bother.

“We have to take it month by month, we have a tough January ahead of us.

“But every game is tough and if you don’t turn up with the right mindset, you’ll find yourself on the wrong end of the result.

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“Chester have been in decent form and it’s another tough game. But we will be full of confidence after that result on New Year’s Day.”

Johnson was delighted with the reaction he got from his players in the second half at Banbury on New Year’s Day.

The Saints boss admitted he gave his team “a volley at half-time” in a bid to get them to step things up a gear.

And they did just that with Johnson also delighted to see recent signing Amantchi grab such a crucial first goal in Brackley colours.

“The all-round performance was good,” he said.

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“We were okay in the first half but I did give them a volley at half-time, more for just instilling a bit of belief because ‘okay’ isn’t going to be good enough.

“I felt that over recent games we have just been okay and not been getting the actual result.

“I got the reaction I was after. I thought we were outstanding in the second half and we deserved to get our goal.

“I was pleased for Levi, it’s a tough transition coming in from another club.

“He could have scored in every game he has taken part in for us so it was nice for him to get that one and for it to be the winner.”