DARLINGTON 1883 manager Martin Gray was full of praise for striker Steven Johnson on Saturday night after the substitute had scored the crucial goal in his side’s 1-0 victory over Ashington at Woodhorn Lane.
“Steven has done it all season,” he said.
“He comes off the bench and gives us that extra little bit of energy against opposition who have heavy legs at this stage of the season.
“He’s full of it and he has a knack of coming on and finding himself inside the box – and it means so much to him because he’s a Darlington lad.”
Gray described the win as being a great three points.
“It was a tough game,” he said.
“Ashington are a good team and they made things as difficult as they could for us.
“The condition of the pitch was very difficult with players losing their footing and being caught out with bobbles, but it’s a tough place to come too and I can see why they take points off teams at the top end, so we are absolutely delighted.
“It’s a great three points away from home.”
“You have got to earn the right to win games and to be honest I thought we created a fair few chances over the game.
“We had two or three in the first half and I just said to the lads at half-time to shoot more in front of goal because we never really challenged the Ashington keeper, who made one good save from David Dowson.
“We had two or three opportunities to pull the trigger but we were looking for the perfect pass or perfect shot and I told them they had to have a bit more desire in front of goal.”
And Gray was always confident that his side would find the net.
He added: “I thought second half we put some great balls in.
“Some of the corners were excellent – where the keeper had to come and make some big punches and big saves.
“You never know how a game is going to go but the longer it went on I felt we were always going to get a goal.”