Football - Cooper hails great Scott

Hartlepool boss Colin Cooper has paid tribute to Scott Flinders after the goalkeeper made his 200th appearance for the club in the goalless weekend draw with Portsmouth.

Flinders, voted player of the year by both the players and fans last season, holds the club record for the total number of clean sheets - 49 - and is one game away from overtaking Norman Oakley to become Pools' record holder for the number of league appearances by a goalkeeper.

"We're very lucky to have Scott," Cooper told the club's official website.

"Knowing what was coming I didn't say anything about his 200th game during the week because I wanted him to remain focussed, but after the game I made a big show of it in the dressing room.

"Two hundred games for Hartlepool and 49 clean sheets in the league is an outstanding contribution.

"One thing I knew when I came in to the football club was that we had an outstanding goalkeeper at this level in Scott - and that's no disrespect to Andy Rafferty, who has been a fantastic number two in the last few years.

"I think everyone said to me during the summer that we had to hang on to Scott - well, we are and he's proving his worth and he will continue to do so.

"He's a very under-stated character, he doesn't shout from the rooftops, but he works ever so hard and is very proud of his achievements, and rightly so."