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Re: Clean Sheets

By ChrisHFC (legacy user)2/4/2014 22:26Wed Apr 2 22:26:07 2014In response to Clean Sheets

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From the information that I have, Joe's record of 8 clean sheets in his first 11 starts (all league, he's also made one sub appearance in the Middx Senior semi-final when he conceded the winning penalty) is unique. Records for the club's first 20 years are scarce, but we have enough results to know that it can be stated with some certainty that no Hendon goalkeeper has beaten Joe's record.

From here, all discussion is league based only, given that Joe's 8 in 11 has come in the league.

The Centenary History on page 5, when discussing the team in 1910-11 gives details of a performance that may come close to Joe. It states, "Hampstead conceded just nine goals in 12 league games. In J. Pells they had a reliable goalkeeper who had seven clean sheets out of 12 league matches."; this when discussing the Finchley and District League. The quote suggests that Pells played every Finchley and District match, but we have no independent evidence to support this. Additionally it is not known whether Pells played in 1908-09 or 1909-10; any such information is so far untraced. Known results for 1910-11 show that the club also played in the Willesden and District League, where six known results produced two clean sheets. Pells' 12 league matches may include the Willesden and District league; we just don't know.

I wondered whether Gary Mac approached Joe's record, but Gary's first eight matches (at the end of 1996-97) contained just one clean sheet.

In 1972-73 we had two league runs that rather put Joe's performance in perspective. In 17 consecutive league matches we conceded a total of one goal - at Hitchin in the eighth match of the run. Later that season we had a run of 13 consecutive league matches in which we conceded a total of two goals - in matches 4 and 8 of that run. That season we kept 30 clean sheets in 42 league matches (John Swannell 28, Arthur Paisley two, in his only appearances of the season), and reportedly we did not concede a goal from a corner in the whole season.

Incidentally Arthur Paisley kept six clean sheets in his first 13 matches, though these were spread over three seasons.

Much as we may praise Joe for his performance over these 11 matches, and deservedly so, let's not forget that he couldn't have done it without the support of his team mates, particularly those in defence. Joe is entitled to be proud of his start with the club and this record; the rest of the squad and the management team should be equally proud.

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