Richards' relief as he gets back to the business of firing the Cobblers to victory
Marc Richards admits he was delighted to rediscover that scoring and winning feeling as he helped the Cobblers to their 3-2 Sky Bet League One win over Bury on Saturday.
The Cobblers skipper netted twice and played a match-winning role in the victory over the Shakers, and after an injury-hit and frustrating start to the season, he admitted there were times when he ‘wasn’t sure’ when he would experience it again.
But the 34-year-old scored the first and second in the win over Bury, the latter a thumping penalty into the roof of the net, and those strikes coupled with Matt Taylor’s stunning free-kick eventually sealed the victory.
And Richards admitted it was great to be back doing what he has done best throughout his career - scoring goals, and winning games.
“It felt good,” said Richards, who has now scored four goals this season, although his first two were in 3-1 defeats to Coventry City and Millwall.
“The last game I played last season was against Oxford and I scored a penalty there in the same sort of fashion, down the middle.
“I am delighted to get that feeling back, because I wasn’t sure when I was going to get it back.
“I played in the cup and scored against Coventry (Checkatrade Trophy), and managed to get a goal when I came off the bench (against Millwall).
“But the result didn’t go our way that day, and the feeling from scoring was quickly put to the side because we lost the game.
“But to get the goals and the three points on Saturday was really special.”
The only downside to the afternoon was the fact the Cobblers allowed a comfortable 3-0 lead to slip as they ended up hanging on for the 3-2 win, and Richards admitted: “We were disappointed to concede the goals, and we shouldn’t be conceding them in the manner that we did.
“But in saying that, it is all about winning and getting three points and we did that, and for myself it was nice to get a start and to score a couple of goals.”
Saturday’s clash against Bury was only Richards’ fourth start since that crucial 1-0 win at Oxford United in February, as he has been kept out of regular action by a troublesome Achilles problem.
He underwent an operation prior to the end of last season, and after working constantly over the summer he returned for pre-season in good shape.
But with having to undergo the intense training in the build up to the campaign, the Achilles problem flared up again, leading to Richards opting to try shockwave treatment - something he admits he wishes he had done earlier - and it seems to have ‘done the trick’.
He has been training and playing without reaction for around six weeks now, and is looking forward to getting back to his sharpest.
“It has been frustrating, and at times like banging my head against a brick wall,” said the former Port Vale and Chesterfield man.
“I have been working hard with the physio, or trying to wok hard with the physio, to try and resolve the issues I have got with my Achilles, and hopefully now I have done that.
“The shockwave therapy seems to have done the trick, and that’s not to say I am 100 per cent, but I am very close to where I feel I should be, and hopefully now I can kick-start my career again.”
Richards will now be hoping he can keep his place for Saturday’s FA Cup first round clash with Harrow Borough, although top scorer Alex Revell is available again after he missed the win over Bury through suspension.
Harrow warmed up for their trip to Sixfields with a 3-0 FA Trophy replay win over Herne Bay on Tuesday night.
Town boss Rob Page was in attendance at Harrow’s Earlsmead Stadium to see the Ryman Premier League side claim the victory thanks to goals from Marc Charles-Smith, Lewis Driver and Harry Newman.