Justin Bennett in come and get me plea

Justin Bennett. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (151409-9)
Justin Bennett. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (151409-9)
Former Pompey chairman Iain McInnes. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Justin Bennett has announced he intends to leave Gosport Borough at the end of the season.

The Privett Park outfit’s all-time record goalscorer has become disillusioned with the off-the field problems that have recently plagued the club.

Bennett has 20 goals to his name in National League South this term – after topping the scoring charts last season.

But he feels he is no longer enjoying his football with Borough and needs a change.

‘All the problems at the club have become a bit too much,’ said the prolific striker.

‘I want to just enjoy my football and not worry about all the other stuff.

‘Over the years I have had an unbelievable time at the club but feel now is the time to go.

‘When I first came here we were in the south west division of the Southern League.

‘Since then we have won league titles, promotion and there was also the highlight of a Wembley final in the FA Trophy.

‘But the last couple of months have been difficult for the players both on and off the pitch.

‘I also have a demanding job which involves a lot of studying for exams in the financial industry.

‘The point of announcing this now is to let clubs know I am available for next season. I would like to get it sorted so I can go off for the summer not having to worry about it.

‘Ideally I would like to stay at the same level because I still think I have a couple of good seasons left in me.’

Earlier this term, the Hawks failed with a bid for Bennett.

No doubt they, along with a number of other National League South clubs, will be interested in the striker.

Bennett has nothing but praise for his fellow Borough players, who are battling hard despite the club’s promotion ambitions being derailed by a cash crisis.

The 1-0 defeat at Hemel Hempstead on Saturday was their fifth league loss in succession and saw them slip further away from the play-off spots.

A penalty on the stroke of half-time proved decisive but Bennett and his team-mates are refusing to throw in the towel.

‘It is disappointing after getting so close to doing something good in this league,’ said the hitman.

‘Not being able to sign players makes it very tough and that increases the pressure on those still here.

‘All we can do is keep giving it everything we have got until the end of the season.

‘There are still five games to go and we will give it our best.

‘At Hemel on Saturday we didn’t create much and towards the end it was our goalkeeper who kept us in the game.

‘We just need a little bit of luck to get in front in games because that would give us greater impetus.’