IN January 2004, when Argyle beat Stockport 2-0, a record was set.It was the seventh clean sheet in a row kept by Luke McCormick, and set a club record for the longest period of time without conceding a goal in Argyle history.
Leon Knight’s goal for Brighton and Hove Albion 12 minutes into a televised game at the Withdean Stadium ended the astonishing run set by Luke and his defence over ten years ago, but Peter Hartley is using that run as a target.
Hartley, playing in front of McCormick along with Carl McHugh, Curtis Nelson and Kelvin Mellor, has not seen a goal go past him since the first half at Bury on August 23.
Since then, Argyle have racked up clean sheets – and victories – against Southend United and Luton Town. Hartley not only wants more wins and more shut-outs, but a place in the history books.
“I’ve joked with Luke McCormick that I’ve got a target of beating his record,” he said.
“It came up in conversation, we spoke about it and it stuck in my head. I think the way we are playing at the moment we are defending really well as a team.
“As a back four, it’s our job to make Luke’s day as easy as possible. You can see how good he is as a keeper. He saved us in the first half a couple of times against Luton and second half I thought we kept him quiet, so he obviously got his rewards with a clean sheet.
“Luke’s a great bloke and a different class pro and you can see he deserves to be top level. I hope we can take him there.”