Harriman's first Cobblers goal was all part of Curle's plan

Michael Harriman's first goal for the Cobblers, scored against Portsmouth on Tuesday night, was the product of a plan devised on the training pitch by Keith Curle the day before his side headed down to Fratton Park.

Wednesday, 4th December 2019, 3:29 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th December 2019, 3:36 pm
Keith Curle and Michael Harriman

Harriman and Joe Martin were the two wing-backs for Town on the south coast and they linked up brilliantly 11 minutes into Tuesday's EFL Trophy tie against the defending champions.

After some patient passing in the middle of the pitch, Cobblers worked the ball to the left side where Martin swung in a fabulous first-time cross and there was Harriman, left unmarked, to nod beyond Alex Bass.

The visitors were unable to convert their lead into victory but the well-worked nature of Harriman's goal was no coincidence, as manager Keith Curle explained afterwards.

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"It was an excellent goal and the pleasing thing is one of the things we've worked on is getting our wing-backs into advanced positions," he said.

"There's nothing better than the left-sided wing-back crossing for the right-sided wing-back inside the six-yard box.

"It's something we worked on during training on Monday and it paid dividends in the game and it also shows the players that what we're telling them does actually work.

"If we can get our wing-backs in advanced positions, they can cause problems with the qualities they've got."

Harriman himself added: "I got the ball in the middle of the park, turned and I just thought I can get in the box here.

"I think everyone was too worried about big Smudge at the back post so I drifted in front and kept the header down and I was happy to see it hit the back of the net.

"It's a shame a win didn't follow it but I'm happy to have scored my first goal for the club."

Harriman has been shunted out of the wing-back role in recent weeks due to the form of Sam Hoskins and Nicky Adams, but Tuesday was a reminder of his quality.

"I've done the wing-back role before in the past and it's enjoyable to have that extra bit of freedom in attack," he added.

"You can get into the box and stuff but there are also areas where I feel I could have done better during the game and I'll look back at it in the week.

"But it was just important to get through 90 minutes and stay injury-free."