PETER Hartley is happy to never score again in professional football if it meant his side did not concede.
The defender has played a part in all nine league clean sheets for Argyle in this year’s Sky Bet League 2 and insists there is nothing better than drawing the opposition to a blank.
When asked of his preference between scoring and keeping clean sheets, he said: “Clean sheets – without a doubt. Goals will come and go; if I don’t score again in my career, I’m not really fussed. There’s no better feeling than keeping clean sheets.”
Argyle have been on an impressive run of late, winning five out of their last six matches in all competitions. The work-ethic of the group in training is shining through and is something Hartley considers the reason behind the good sequence of form and the clean sheets.
He said: “We’re working hard on the training ground and it’s actually showing in games. We take it personal when someone takes a shot and there’s no one around to block it and it’s pleasing.”
Peter scored Argyle’s second goal in the 3-0 win over Cheltenham Town after Andy Kellett produced a pinpoint cross straight on to his head.
Andy, currently on-loan from Championship side Bolton Wanderers for a month, picked up the man-of-the-match award following his debut at Wimbledon four days’ earlier, and Hartley has been very pleased with the wing-back’s progress.
“It was a great ball from Andy,” Peter said. “I didn’t really have much to do to be honest; I just needed to connect with the ball and it went in.
“Since he’s come here, he’s been different class and he’s really getting better with every game.
“Wimbledon away wasn’t really his type of game but I think he showed today what he can do and hopefully he can do the same next week.”
Another player on loan is midfielder Bobby Reid, who is set to extend his stay at Home Park for a further month. The 21-year-old assisted Argyle’s third goal by Lewis Alessandra with a cute through-ball and has been a key player in the Pilgrims’ midfield during his stay.
Peter welcomed the addition of the youngster and believes he provides what Argyle perhaps lacked earlier on in the campaign.
He said: “Bobby’s the missing piece to the puzzle and gives us that bit of creativity in midfield.
“He brings a lot to the table; he’s a great player and a great lad around the dressing room. He’s a cracking down-to-earth lad that just wants to play football and he might get that opportunity when he goes back to Bristol.
“He’s here to get more experience and it’s only going to benefit him.”