Cheltenham Town: 'Bennett will get his clean sheet bonus, if we hit 20!'
CHELTENHAM Town are on course to break the club record for clean sheets in a Football League season.
And if they surpass the benchmark of 18 set during the 2001/02 promotion campaign, goalkeeper Scott Brown has promised to buy skipper Alan Bennett a present.
Brown and his back four have enjoyed nine shut outs in 20 League Two matches this term – more than any other team in the division.
No other club in the three divisions of the Football League have stopped opposition teams scoring in more matches than Mark Yates' side, who have already beaten their total of eight from the 2010/11 season.
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It has been great news for the Robins' last line of defence, who has a clean sheet bonus written into his contract, but central defender Bennett does not.
"Benno keeps moaning at me because he doesn't have a clean sheet bonus, but I said if we get to 20 I'll buy him a present, so that's the next target," Brown said.
Cheltenham recovered from a 4-2 defeat at Rotherham United followed quickly by a 4-1 setback at Chesterfield last week by beating Barnet 1-0 at home on Saturday and Brown was happy to see their defensive solidity make a welcome return.
"We have the most clean sheets in the League with nine and ten in total and we look like we can go on another run now," he said.
"But the two away games last week showed we have to be on our guard for 90 minutes.
"We went back to what we know we are good at on Saturday and we are still third in the table, which is the most important thing."
Brown made an excellent penalty save in the 65th minute to stop bottom club Barnet taking the lead before Jeff Goulding's late winner.
He guessed correctly, diving to his right to repel Mark Byrne's spot kick, but he said former Barnet man Sam Deering, who was not on the pitch at the time, deserved the credit.
"It's about time I saved one," Brown said. "I write things down and do all the research I can, but to be honest I was going to guess the other way.
"He (Byrne) had two penalties the previous week and he went the other way with both. But a bit of divine intervention from Sam, who told me to go the other way, helped me out.
"I got the man of the match Champagne, but I gave it to Sammy because he deserves all the credit."
Brown's performance earned him a place in the League Two team of the week.