VIDEO: Appleby’s delight for ‘immense’ Johnson after captain inspires Wisbech Town win

WISBECH Town boss Steve Appleby lavished praise on Scott Johnson on Saturday - claiming that the returning full back’s performance justified his decision to make him captain.

Johnson returned from an eight-week spell on the sidelines in style, scoring a magnificent solo effort to inspire his side to a 2-0 victory over Kirkley & Pakefield.

Appleby, who appointed Johnson as captain in June, said: “Scott showed why we’ve missed him so badly. He’s immense, he’s always talking and he covers round in defence.

“People asked the question, why have you given him the captaincy? You can see why on the field.

“He’s not a bawler. He’ll not shout at you but he leads by example. We’ve missed that big style. It’s a great boost having him back.

“He deserved his goal and you’re pleased when things like that happen, especially as he admitted to me before that he’d never been out that long before.”

Chris Bacon’s penalty sealed a comfortable Ridgeons Premier Division win for the Fenmen, who stretched their unbeaten run to four games.

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Appleby said: “I thought that was probably one of our most complete performances without massive spark. We’ve done our job.

“To me, it was probably one of our most pleasing performances this season.”

“At times it was no frills but then at times we’ve done things that are pleasing on the eye. As much as Snips has done a lot of work on it, the pitch is still hard and it’s tough to play the pretty football that everybody wants.”

Appleby reserved special praise for his defence, who were in fine form to secure their first clean sheet since September 10.

“That clean sheet has been coming for a while and we’ve needed it,” he said. “The back four was probably the back four from the end of last season.

“I’ve never got any qualms with playing Stacy (Cartwright) and Reevo (Anthony Reeve) together as centre halves. I thought Reevo was superb defending, aside from the Brazilian stuff when he was on the ball. In fairness, him and Stacy have done a brilliant job.”

Liam Nimmo also came off the bench for the Fenmen and Appleby confirmed the striker, who had been absent with work commitments, would be available for the “forseeable future”.

The Wisbech boss also admitted that his side had been handed a long overdue stroke of luck with the awarding of, what he described as, a “very harsh” penalty in the second half.

“I’d have been spitting feathers if it had been given against me,” he said. “To be honest, we’ve had more than our fair share of dodgy decisions and I think that one’s gone for us.”