MARK Yates hailed Scott Brown as the top goalkeeper in League Two after Cheltenham Town's crucial 1-0 home win over Northampton Town yesterday.
Steve Elliott's goal late in the first half was enough to lift the Robins up to fourth, level on points with the Cobblers, who have a game in hand.
Skipper Elliott was outstanding, but last line of defence Brown made several important stops in the second half as Aidy Boothroyd's team applied pressure with the strong wind in their favour.
"Scott Brown made a few saves and that's why he's one of the best keepers if not the best keeper in the league at the moment," Yates said
"He's the rock that we build on and the lads get so much confidence from playing in front of him.
"In the first half we were excellent and went ahead deservedly, but the second half was always going to be about winning and holding on to the ball because they had a right go at us.
"We didn't keep the ball as well as we could have done or pick the right passes at times, but we held firm."
Yates has now asked for the fans' backing for the remaining four matches of the campaign as they bid to claim automatic promotion for the first time in the club's Football League history.
"The boys need a little something because they've had two tough games against second and third," he said.
"They've had 41 games this season and that's a big ask so they just need a little lift.
"We started really well in the first half and the crowd were great and then it went a little bit quiet when we were having to defend and it was quite windy out there.
"I don't think we really appreciated how blowy it was out there until we had to defend that top end in the second half, when they had the wind behind their backs. The players respond to a decent crowd and some noise. I think whenever we have had a bit of noise, we've put in a decent performance."
Yates made four changes to the team that started Good Friday's 3-2 defeat at Port Vale and he said he would continue to pick teams for individual matches.
"I thought there were some outstanding performances, but it was a really good team effort from everybody," he said.
"There are one or two disappointed people, but it's not the right time to worry about individuals now.
"They all know the only way we are going to do something this season is to be a collective group and everyone has backed the 11 and the subs today, and even the boys not involved.
"They all know they've played their part and we know we've got some tough games to go but we've proved we can deal with tough teams.
"Russ Penn struggled to make Friday's game, but he played and I thought he was outstanding, but I just felt because he is a really high intensity type of player, we might need a little bit of freshnesss in there and I thought Darren Carter, particularly in the first half was excellent.
"We've got a squad of players at the moment and I want to mix it up every now and then and that's not trying to prove anything, I just thought it would have been a big ask for Russ."
Cheltenham travel to relegation-threatened Plymouth Argyle on Saturday.