Cheltenham Town: 'Outstanding' Bennett has vital role - Yates
MARK Yates hailed the impact of skipper Alan Bennett as resolute Cheltenham Town returned home from York City with a battling point and a clean sheet on Saturday.
The Irish central defender made his second appearance since returning from injury and helped the Robins shut out newly-promoted York and maintain their unbeaten away record.
Bennett and Steve Elliott were both on top form at Bootham Crescent and Yates was happy with a draw.
"Benno was outstanding, particularly in the second half when he did what he needed to," Yates said.
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"York looked dangerous, but he marshalled his back four superbly, so well done the defence because York are a good side and we deserved our clean sheet.
"We went soft for ten minutes against Southend (3-1 defeat), but in the last two performances, they've put right what we worked on in training.
"We've put sessions on to eliminate certain things we've spotted and the boys have done it."
Yates admitted he was disappointed with some of Cheltenham's set pieces and crosses into the box from open play, but he praised his players for their workrate.
"You have to be happy with a point away and we are unbeaten in four games on the road," he said. "It wasn't as free flowing as we'd have wanted, but we've picked up four points since Southend and the boys are working extremely hard.
"Both teams try to play and we weren't as good as we want to be, but we defended a million miles better than last Saturday.
"Pleasing things have happened since then and we are happy to go home with a point from a difficult place to come."
Yates picked Russ Penn ahead of Sam Deering and the attacking midfield player almost scored for Cheltenham in the first half only to be denied by a fine defensive block.
Kaid Mohamed almost won it late on, but his shot bounced off the bar and on to the line.
Yates said: "Shaun Harrad's header hit the goalkeeper in the face and popped to Russ and I expected him to prod it in, but they put their bodies on the line and that bodes well for them.
"Jermaine McGlashan was kept quiet in second half, but he skinned his man and played it to Mo, who was unlucky. He has to keep working hard and those breaks will go for him.
"I wanted Russ' energy in there and he linked with Shaun well, so it'll be horses for courses at times this season.
"We now have Morecambe on Friday and we love night games, believe it or not, so we'll have a good week and be ready for another tough game."