Upon This Rock

PETER Hartley has praised all of his teammates, especially his defensive partners, on creating Argyle’s exemplary defensive record so far this season.

The centre-back continues to play an integral part in a defensive record that holds no equal in the entire Football League. Argyle have conceded just eight goals so far this season.

That record was given a thorough test at Kingsmeadow, where Hartley and co had to combat a number of issues, on and off the pitch, to record an eighth clean sheet in fourteen league games.

“I think it was a difficult game today in difficult conditions,” said Peter. “As a defender it is my job to keep the ball out of the net, and as a team, we did that.”

“We like to move the ball quick and open teams up, and we could not really do it on this surface.

“The ball was holding up, and it was quite windy in the second half, so we grabbed each other together on the pitch in the second half and played to the conditions to get ourselves through the game.”

On the subject of playing against Wimbledon’s strike partnership of Ade Akinfenwa and Matt Tubbs: “They are complete opposites, they are chalk and cheese.

“Ade is a big strong lad and he cause problems, and Tubbsy works off of him. It is difficult – they keep you on your toes and you have got to be concentrating for 90 minutes – but apart from the chance they had in the first half, I thought we dealt with them well.

The summer signing was also keen to praise his teammates – those who play beside, in front of, and behind him – for playing their part in Argyle’s defensive successes.

Said Peter: “Obviously clean sheets start from the front, with our two strikers working really hard to cause problems.

“I am playing with two very talented defenders, who take it personally when we concede a goal, like myself. To have players like that next to you is always going to be a benefit.

“It started early in pre-season, and we have been in every game. The goals that we have conceded, we could have prevented, so really, in the games we have been beaten, we have beaten ourselves.

“We have spoken about that a lot and worked hard in training, and I think we are just starting to reap our rewards now.”