Curle lauds 'dominant' captain Goode and praises stand-in Harriman
Charlie Goode might have 'dodged a bullet' when avoiding an early red card against Derby County but manager Keith Curle was keen for that not to detract from his captain's 'dominant' performance during Friday's cup tie.
Goode produced arguably his best performance yet in an already impressive season when spearheading Town's terrific defensive effort against a club from two divisions above.
The 24-year-old was rightly named man of the match after giving nothing away to Derby's front men, while fellow defenders Jordan Turnbull and Michael Harriman, who was filling in at centre-back for the suspended Scott Wharton, also enjoyed fine games.
"Charlie Goode was named man of the match and it was an excellent performance from him," said Curle.
"It shows he's developing and learning his trade all the time because it was a slightly different position for him on Friday. Rather than play on the right side, he played in the middle.
"But he did very well and he did everything right. He was assured, aggressive, dominant and he was able to compete a couple of levels above against very good players."
Harriman, predominantly a full-back, was a surprise choice to replace Wharton but he repaid his manager's faith with an near-flawless performance.
"I've got to mention Michael Harriman because he came in for Wharton on the right side of the defence," added Curle.
"A lot of people might have wondered 'well he's 5ft 8in how can you play him as a right-sided centre-back against a high-quality attack?' but I thought the lad did excellently.
"He did everything that was asked of him and Jordan Turnbull also understands his role and you could mention the whole team because we performed at the top end of our game."
Curle couldn't discuss Goode without mentioning the game's main talking point which saw Town's skipper get away with bringing down down Jack Marriott when he was the last man.
"I think about 30 seconds earlier we should have had a foul that would have stopped that challenge from happening," said Curle.
"The referee was unsighted so he wouldn't have seen the tangle but, if he saw it, I think 99 times out of 100 the referee would have made the decision to send Charlie off.
"You can only give what you see but I think we dodged a bullet!"