Northampton and Derby set for intriguing FA Cup clash


Victory for Northampton Town over Derby County on Friday night would see them equal their best ever result of reaching the fifth round in the competition. This has only happened three times in their history.

The Cobblers come into the match in good form, unbeaten in their last six matches in all competitions, a run stretching back to December. They will be looking to add to their shock victory over League One side Burton Albion by making Championship side Derby County their next scalp.

However, The Rams, spearheaded by former FA Cup-winning captain Wayne Rooney, will be looking to go on a long cup run of their own. They can also boast a recent purple patch with four wins and a draw from their last five games in all competitions; including one of the shocks of the third round when they ousted Premier League outfit Crystal Palace from the competition.

With 37 league places between the sides, the odds favour Derby but home advantage and the ‘magic of the Cup’ mean that Northampton should not be estimated.

Team news

Northampton will be without defender Scott Wharton who serves the first part of a three-match ban following his sending off against Leyton Orient on Tuesday evening.

Derby will be boosted by the news that Jack Marriott has recovered sufficiently from injury and is available for selection. Meanwhile, Graeme Shinnie trained yesterday but a decision on his availability will not be made until match day.

Cobblers boss Keith Curle said:

“Fatigue won’t be a problem for us. We look forward to games and the players would probably rather play games than train because at the end of the game there is a reward.

“I’m comfortable with the options we have in the squad and Friday night is a great opportunity for us.

“The beauty of the FA Cup is we’ve got a chance. It’s not a foregone conclusion and we know that in that changing room and we believe that in that changing room.”

Derby County manager Phillip Cocu added:

“We need to be aware and solid. You have to try and play football against them, which will be the challenge for us. We have to step up like we did at Crystal Palace if we want to progress.

“The first 10-15 minutes are very important. We have to make sure we are switched on and take the initiative early on. We have to make sure that we win and move on in the competition.”


The sides have met just ten times in their history, with Derby winning on six occasions and the other four games ending in draws. Their last meeting was well over fifty years ago and was somewhat of a goal fest with Derby winning a seven goal thriller 4-3 in the old Second Division. Derby have knocked Northampton out of the FA Cup three times; most recently in 1950 in the fifth round, with the game finishing 4-2 to the Rams.


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