Cup memories flood back as Marriott faces an old pal at Pompey
- Credit: Ian Burt
Adam Marriott shared one of his greatest moments alongside former Norwich City defender Sean Raggett – now he’s hoping to get one over his old pal.
Marriot and Raggett were in the Lincoln squad which reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup back in 2016-17 when their escapades included wins over Oldham, Ipswich Town, Brighton and Burnley before they come unstuck at Arsenal.
Now the defender and the striker look set to go head to head this afternoon, with Raggett at the heart of Portsmouth’s defence after his Carrow Road release in the summer.
“I still speak with Sean – he was a good friend of mine at the time and he is doing well for himself. I think Portsmouth are up there this year and they will be one of the favourites to go up in that league so hopefully I can come up against him on Saturday and see if he is still any good.
“I believe we can do it to be honest. We can go there full of confidence, no pressure on ourselves and give it a right go.”
That cup run did no harm to Marriott nor Lincoln, who went on to finish top of the National League.
“It (the FA Cup) has been brilliant to me over the years,” he added. “Obviously the Lincoln cup run was a brilliant time and we got so much confidence from that cup run that bled into our league form and we managed to win the league that season, so the cup is brilliant for the club. Everyone gets behind us and hopefully we can do the fans proud.
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“I’m looking forward to it - I think it is one of the hardest tests we could have got, but we go into everything and try our best. That is all you can do. It will be a tough game, they are a good League One side but we are excited to test ourselves against the best and see how we do.
"You want to beat a big team but it would have been easier if we had got one of the lower teams and won that game and moved through, but we are going to have to do it the hard way. We will have a right go and hopefully on the day we can be as good as them and get a decent result.”
It was Marriott who teed up the trip to Portsmouth, with a brilliant piece of individual skill that was thew assist for Sonny Carey’s winner.
“That was obviously a good day,” he said. “We were brilliant defensively that day and we are going to have to be the same on Saturday and take our chances when they come and I am sure we can do that.”
At 19, Carey is one of the younger, and least experienced players in Lynn’s squad, but Marriott knows that a game, live on TV, is the perfect stage.
“You make a name for yourself in cup competitions playing against good teams if you play well,” he said. “ I managed to do that with Lincoln and maybe it is someone else’s time this year.
“Sonny did brilliantly last round, and it could be anyone. You have to believe. We have some good players in this team and I am sure someone can really come up trumps and do well for us.
"You have got to believe. There is no point going out there and not believing because you will lose the game. It is a game of football at the end of the day, anything can happen and I believe, and I am sure the boys do as well. The gaffer will believe in us and we will go there full of confidence.”
One thing that, of course, will be missing, will be fans.
“It is such a shame, “ said Marriott. “It would have been a packed house - 21,000 at Fratton Park. That would have been brilliant and we would have taken a few wouldn’t we? Gutted for the fans but hopefully there is a bit of light at the end of the tunnel and they will be back in soon.
Will that provide a more level playing field at what is usually and hostile home ground?
“Hopefully,” he said. “At the minute it is difficult . It’s whoever is on it really, mentally as well as physically and I think with no fans there is no atmosphere so you have to provide that yourself. You have to get yourself up for the game and we will be bang on it I am sure.”