Keep It Clean

WINNING has become a pleasant routine for Ben Purrington – but there is another habit he would like to get back into.

Ben has been involved in 18 games this season in all competitions, starting the last 15, and has felt defeat just twice, both times in the Checkatrade Trophy. 

The Pilgrims’ 14-match unbeaten Sky Bet League two run has seen them ascend to the top of the table with a seven point lead, with Derek Adams’ men making a great habit of grinding out wins in various circumstances. 

However, despite having conceded only 14 goals - the fewest in League Two - the Pilgrims have not kept a clean sheet since the 2-0 win over Leyton Orient on September 27. 

To Argyle’s great credit, they have scored two or more goals in their last eight league games, which has seen them through, but Ben is keen for he and his fellow defenders to tighten the ship to further strengthen their chances of success. 

“I don’t think we’ve kept enough [clean sheets] this season,” Ben said. “We’ve obviously been winning games, which is the main thing, but I wouldn’t mind a few more 1-0 wins. It’s better for the defenders. We’ve been leaking a few sloppy goals which hasn’t been good. 

“We’ve been scoring a lot of goals, which is obviously a good thing. If we can just tighten up at the back it will be even better. If you look around all the other clubs they seem to be conceding as well. 

“Since I’ve come in, we’ve only lost cup games. We’ve drawn a few, but we’re on a good run, and seven points clear at the top of the table which you would never have expected. Morale around the club is really high. 

“We’re all staying level-headed. We’re on a good run, but you know that teams are going to come here and set-up differently to play us, because we are flying.

“As a team, there’s still more to come. It shows that we are doing well to be top and yet still have more in our locker.”

Ben’s own form has been validated by his nomination for – and success in – the vote for PFA Fans’ Player of the Month for October. Put up in the six-man shortlist by a panel of experts, the Green Army carried Ben to a runaway success with their votes. 

“It was nice to be nominated in the first place and to get some recognition,” said Ben. 

“It’s the fans’ player of the month, so it was literally down to them. They all seemed to jump on board. Looking at it through the day, I could see I was quite clear, so credit to them.”

Argyle meet Grimsby in the annual Armed Services Day fixture at Home Park on Saturday. Tickets are cheaper in advance - click here to get yours