Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cooper's Praise for His Record-Breaking Keeper

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cooper's Praise for His Record-Breaking Keeper

Article excerpt

HARTLEPOOL UNITED ........0 PORTSMOUTH ......................0 SCOTT Flinders created history in a Hartlepool United shirt and then manager Colin Cooper admitted how lucky he is to have the goalkeeper at Victoria Park, writes TOM JOSEPHS.

Flinders became the first post-war Pools goalkeeper to chalk up 49 clean sheets in the Football League by keeping out Portsmouth in the goalless draw.

The 27-year-old, making his 200th appearance for the club, also had to work for the honour, with two important saves to keep out the managerless Pompey.

In the first half Flinders did well to get down to his left and turn a distance drive from Jed Wallace on to the foot of the post before it eventually rolled to safety.

Then shortly after half-time he had to be alert to leap to his left again when a hooked shot from Sonny Bradley was heading for the top corner of his net.

Cooper appreciates the quality he has between the posts at Hartlepool.

He said: "We are very lucky to have Scott. Two hundred appearances and 49 clean sheets, is an outstanding contribution.

"Coming in here during the summer, I knew we had an outstanding keeper at this level.

"We are very lucky to have him. Everybody said we had to hang on to him and he is proving his worth.

"He is an understated character and he is very proud of his achievements and rightly so."

Flinders' 182nd league appearance also equalled the club record held by Norman Oakley, the longest serving Hartlepool shot-stopper from the 1950s.

After the final whistle was blown on his latest outing, Cooper knows his No 1 has all the ingredients to be a higher-eague goalkeeper - even if he never wants to lose him.

He added: "He is 6ft 4in and gets down low to save things, he comes for crosses and his distribution is really improving.

"In modern-day football it will benefit him to work on the technical goalkeeping work and the ball at his feet.

"Scott, for a goalkeeper, is quite young. I think if there were not a lot of goalkeepers out there then we would have had a lot more inquiries about Scott. …

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