Mansfield Town defender Mal Benning enjoys the goal spotlight after wonder strike

Malvind Benning
Malvind Benning
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Mansfield Town left back Mal Benning’s wonder volley in yesterday’s 3-0 win over Newport County left everyone in the ground believing the Football League Goal of the Season award is already sorted.

But Benning actually enjoyed his rasping right foot volley at Dagenham seven days before even more as it was on his weaker foot.

Few fans who were at One Call Stadium yesterday will ever forget the way he smashed the ball home from over 20 yards after Jack Thomas had chosen to pull a pinpoint cross back into his path from the right instead of putting the ball into the box.

To read a match report click HERE

To read boss Adam Murray’s thoughts click HERE

“I found myself up there, I saw Thommo look at me, then look at the box and I thought, please, cross it to me,” said Benning.

“He did cross it to me and I heard some people say take a touch. But I thought, why not, let’s have a crack and see what happens. Thankfully it went in.

“Same as last week, it was just instinct. When it comes, why not go for it and have a crack?

“Before this season I’d scored three goals, two in the League and one in the Capital One Cup.

“But my main aim is to get a clean sheet as I am a defender. Goals are a bonus.”

When asked if yesterday’s was the best goal of his career, he said: “Maybe last week’s for me as it was on my right foot.”

Stags had to work hard for the 3-0 win, three second half goals finally seeing off the League’s bottom club.

“I thought it was a very good team display,” said Benning. “Obviously after we scored we did have that lapse in concentration for a bit. But we were on top throughout.

“I thought we dominated the first half and it was a shame we didn’t get a goal.

“The gaffer was a bit frustrated with us at half-time but second half we finally broke them down.

“After that first goal we needed to kick on and get the second, which we did, to kill the game off.

“We had to be careful. After we scored the first goal, they’ve had a couple of good chances from which Brian Jensen has pulled off a couple of great saves.

“The gaffer says we have to pride ourselves on clean sheets, thankfully today we got one and won the match.”

Benning is loving the current dressing room camaraderie at Mansfield, adding: “Walsall was good, but this has topped it. We need to keep going and see what happens.”