Lance Cronin has revealed the secret behind his sterling show at Grimsby Town – he was just keeping himself warm.
Cronin proved unbeatable in Macc’s at Blundell Park, repelling everything the Mariners – and the Heavens – threw at him, and said after his man-of-the-match outing that the cold, wind, rain and hail, all of which were prevalent in a wintry afternoon in Cleethorpes, had played their part.
"It went well for me, it was one of those days," said the England C stopper. "It was cold today so I was kept pretty warm, it was one of the busier days I’ve had. I think we defended well as a team and we’re buzzing with the three points.
"We’ve been dying for a clean sheet for a while now, to be honest, and it was good to get back to winning ways, and nice to keep a clean sheet."
On this kind of form it’s difficult to see why 27-year-old Cronin’s last shutout came at the end of August.
Ahead of facing Swindon Town – divisional rivals for the Silkmen last year and now riding high in League One – Cronin is delighted that now the 10-game duck has been broken.
The former Gillingham and Bristol Rovers man says he is keen to take the momentum built up in Saturday’s win into the FA Cup game at Swindon.
"We’ve changed the team around a bit and had different personnel in, we’ve had a few injuries and it’s been hard to get some stability in the team," he added. "But we’ve kept the formation and worked hard on it all week and I think it’s paid off today.
"We started off the season well, we had two or three clean sheets on the bounce but we’ve been going through a bad spell.
"I’ve been quite pleased with my own form so I’m disappointed we haven’t had more clean sheets – if you look at some of our games we’ve played some good stuff and dominated a lot of games to be fair, but conceding two or three is the frustrating thing, and something we can’t get our heads round.
"But as long as we keep working hard in training we can put in some more performances and get results like we did today."
And his sterling show had manager Steve King purring.
"Lance was just incredible for us today," he praised. "He made some world class saves and double saves, and I’m not exaggerating to say it was the best goalkeeping performance I’ve seen in my managerial career.
"Today has shown people what he’s capable of. We changed the system a little bit with the wing backs, and we did well, and of course when they did get through, Lance was in absolutely top form."
And Cronin himself modestly shrugged off the plaudits after his one-man barricade at Blundell Park, preferring to look forwards towards the next game, arguably their toughest fixture so far this season.
"Hopefully after today we can get back some confidence and kick on from here," he continued. "It’s going to be a tough game next week at Swindon, they’re a tough side so it’ll be a good game.
"We’ve got to go there and enjoy it, all the boys are up for it so hopefully we can get a result."