Hillians General manager and goalkeeping coach John Rattle certainly knows his business when it comes to shot stoppers.
The Mid Sussex Ryman Premier League club have had a plethora of top keepers over the past few seasons.
Alan Mansfield helped the team move away from the dark days of Ryman South survival.
Then Josh James became the back bone of success in which promotion and extended cup runs were forged. He is still very much part of this club and indeed is loved by every fan. However injury has kept Josh out of the limelight of late and new boy Max Huxter has become the new Green Elephant Stadium darling. That's not surprising, he has been instrumental in three ultra important clean sheets.
After a nil nil draw at Tonbridge and then one nil win at Enfield the stadium was in fine spirits when AFC Sudbury travelled to Mid Sussex last Saturday. After heavy rains everyone was very pleased the pitch survived a 10am inspection. As the day progressed high pressure over our region led to a sunny and dry afternoon. A superb Ryman Premier League game then ensued.
AFC played some exciting one touch football down the left which lead to some half chances. In truth the home defence was in great shape and never looked in much danger during the opening half. It was Hill who drew first blood when Jack Brivio smashed home a stunning free kick in off the far post. In the second half Hill controlled much of the mid field with man of the match Toby Pointing winning every thing that came his way. Huxter brought off a wonderful save diving to his left.
All that hard work paid off when sub Aaron Smith Joseph clipped home the second in stoppage time.
As all connections bathed in a collective glow of success I caught up with Max to get the low down. He is a Deptford lad and makes the journey down to Mid Sussex by train. He said 'as a keeper its very important to keep a clean sheet, you feel as if you are contributing to the team effort. This defence is very well organised and we can now go from strength to strength. There is no reason why we can't go on a run and perhaps finish up in a mid table position.' He added ' there is a togetherness within this squad, a real team spirit developing and its great to be involved' As to his three consecutive clean sheets he revealed ' that nil nil at Tonbridge was the best. I had to make a lot of saves in very tricky conditions' (virtual frozen pitch)
There is no rest for the Hillians as RPL games come thick and fast. They play Harlow at home on Tuesday (7.30pm) and then travel to Leatherhead on Saturday. However it's becoming clear that Ian Chapman has his team in a great place right now.
Those six wins needed ( to avoid relegation) are now within grasping distance.