Cheltenham boss Gary Johnson targets play-off places after long overdue win

Cheltenham boss Gary Johnson targets play-off places after long overdue win

Gary Johnson wants Cheltenham to start looking towards the play-offs after ending a six-match winless league run with a 2-1 success over Crawley.

Billy Waters and Jack Munns struck to secure the Robins a much-needed three points on a day when the hosts hit the woodwork twice and had a certain penalty turned down at Whaddon Road.

Cheltenham were made to sweat when Kaby Djalo blasted low to goalkeeper Russell Griffiths' right with 12 minutes to play but survived with few dramas in the closing stages.

"I'm just so pleased for the boys," said Johnson. "This was a key game because even if we still had 10 points we would only have been nine off the play-offs.

"Now we are six away and that allows you to start thinking upwards. I know it's tight down at the bottom but that is the case throughout the league.

"We don't have to go on a long winning run to get ourselves back in it. We need a couple of wins on the trot to make sure we are challenging in that top half.

"We said how everybody needed to affect the game individually and I thought everyone gave everything.

"Our little passing sequences were excellent early on and, indeed, late on. In the last five minutes we kept it up in the channel and didn't have too many hassles.

"It sounds poor when you talk about only two wins but there have been seven draws and we could have won five of those."

Waters latched on to Kyle Storer's through ball before jinking past his marker and stroking beyond Glenn Morris after three minutes.

Cheltenham dominated the rest of the half and were denied a chance from 12 yards when Jack Barthram was sent sprawling by Djalo.

Munns blasted against the inside of the post two minutes after the restart but Crawley upped the ante and went close through half-time substitute Bobson Bawling and James Collins.

Cheltenham struck again after 62 minutes when Waters was denied on the goal-line by Mark Connolly, only for Munns to rattle home the rebound.

But it was not all plain sailing and Djalo thumped in from the edge of the box to set the nerves jangling.

Cheltenham's Danny Wright hit a post from a deep free-kick but it mattered not as the Red Devils could not muster enough to equalise.

"We paid the price for not nullifying their long balls and aerial threat," said Crawley boss Dermot Drummy.

"There was no pressure in midfield, we sat back on the 18-yard line from the kick-off and that was not what I asked for.

"You have to be fair to Cheltenham. They hit the inside of the post twice, so the game could have been put to bed.

"We have to learn because we will come up against this again and again. We've had a bad performance so we have to look at it, correct it, make changes if necessary and go again against Accrington."

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