Brixworth boy Jack Marriott has the last laugh, but says he was impressed by spirited Cobblers
It’s fair to say Jack Marriott won’t forget his battles with Cobblers skipper Charlie Goode in a hurry.
The Derby County striker was to have the last laugh over the Town defender, as he netted his team’s third goal in their 4-1 FA Cup fourth round replay win over the Cobblers on Tuesday night.
But it was hard graft for the former Moulton School pupil and his Rams team-mates.
Held to a 0-0 draw in the original tie at the PTS Academy Stadium last month, Derby eventually got the better of league two Town at Pride Park, but they were again made to work for their win.
And Marriott was again given a testing time by Goode - although the Derby striker is still convinced the former Scunthorpe United man shouldn’t have been on the pitch, having got away with what looked a clear red card foul on him in the first game.
Asked about his tussle with Goode, Marriott said: “I don’t know whether he should have been at the game on Tuesday given the tackle in the first game! But he is a tough centre-half to play against.
“He is a big lad, he is strong, so you have to find ways around that.”
Asked about the incident in the first game when, even by Goode’s admission, the Town defender got away with dragging Marriott down when he was clean through, the Derby man admitted: “When I watched it back I thought I was watching WWE!
“But Duane (Holmes) is good mates with him (Goode) and we spoke to him about it, and it is what it is.
“These things happen in football and you don’t always get the decisions - even when they are as obvious as that.
“But he is a tough competitor and I wish him all the best for the season.”
Despite the eventually comfortable nature of their win in the replay, there was still a sense of relief among the Derby contingent that they had got the job done and set up a big fifth round home tie against Manchester United in the last 16.
Marriott was certainly pleased to have got the result, but he said he always felt the hard work had been done in the first match between the sides.
“Going to Sixfields can always be a difficult game,” said Marriott, who was brought up in Brixworth and watched the Cobblers as a youngster.
“The Northampton fans were constantly behind the team, as were our fans, but it is one of those tough games.
“To come through that and get Northampton back at our place was never going to be a bad result, to bring them back to Derby.
“We said after the game that it wasn’t a bad result because it gets the Cobblers back on to our turf, and we can hopefully see it out, which we did on Tuesday.”
The Cobblers were under pressure early on, but they kept the match goalless until Andre Wisdom bundled Derby in front from a corner after 28 minutes.
Duane Holmes scored a second seven minutes later, and Derby were then mainly on easy street - although to their credit the Cobblers kept plugging away, scoring second half goals through Nicky Adams and Sam Hoskins.
“Getting a goal ahead when we did helped us, because it just took that slight bit of pressure off,” said Marriott, who made it 3-1 with a header after Adams’ goal had briefly got Town back into things.
“That gives us a bit more freedom, because then the Cobblers were chasing the game slightly, and that gave us a bit more space to play our stuff, and play our football.
“Once we had gone in front, I felt we were able to do that.”
So, was Marriott impressed with what he considers to be his home town team?
“Yeah, I was,” said the former Brixworth Youth team player, who netted his third goal of an injury-hit season against Town.
“In both games they didn’t really stop, they kept on constantly working, they kept on sticking to their game-plan, and the way they wanted to play.
“They definitely caused us a few problems, and you have to give them credit for that.
“Then to come to Derby and score two goals is something they should take great pride in.”
An extra incentive for Marriott going into the game was of course his local links to the Cobblers - and to the fact he had Town supporting mates among the travelling army of 4,442 fans at Pride Park.
“One of my best mates was in the crowd, and he messaged me straight after the game,” said Marriott, who has also scored against Town in the past - for Peterborough United.
“I always enjoy scoring against the Cobblers, just because one of my best mates is a season-ticket holder, and it is always good to wind him up a little bit!
“But it was a good night, it was a good result for us, and we can look forward to the next round now.”