Bennett has been pivotal to Town’s run

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LEE CLARK has hailed the influence of veteran goalkeeper Ian Bennett on Huddersfield Town’s record-breaking unbeaten run.

The 40-year-old has been thrust back into the first-team spotlight courtesy of a serious injury to Alex Smithies and he is yet to miss a League One game this season.

In the past week, Bennett has produced a stunning save to ensure Preston North End did not fight their way back into last weekend’s game at the Galpharm Stadium and then saved two penalties to earn Town a point at Scunthorpe United.

Clark, whose side are unbeaten in 40 league games, said: “Ian Bennett has been magnificent for us. I knew when he signed that he wouldn’t be a No 2 goalkeeper who would be happy on the bench.

“I knew he would work Alex Smithies hard for the No 1 spot. As a result of Alex’s injury, Ian has come in and been excellent.”

Town travelled to the south west on Thursday, echoing their preparations for the trip to Exeter City a fortnight ago that ended in a 4-0 triumph for Clark’s men.