Justin Bennett sets himself new Gosport Borough goal target

Justin Bennett notched his 250th goal for Gosport Borough. Picture Ian Hargreaves  (151409-8)
Justin Bennett notched his 250th goal for Gosport Borough. Picture Ian Hargreaves (151409-8)
Hawks boss Lee Bradbury. Picture: Keith Woodland

Hawks boss sickened by home form

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Justin Bennett has set himself a new goalscoring target for the rest of the season as he declared: I want 40 goals.

The long-serving Gosport Borough marksman extended his own club record when he struck his 250th goal in the 2-1 win at high-flying Oxford City at the weekend.

I’ve got the rest of this season and another two years on my contract so 300 is the next big target.

Justin Bennett

Bennett’s late winner was his 20th of the season already and fired Borough to within a point of the play-off zone ahead of tonight’s Vanarama National League South trip to struggling St Albans City.

The 33-year-old was recently the subject of a failed £12,500 bid from rivals Hawks and instead penned an improved contract to remain at Privett Park until 2018.

And he remains ambitious to continue his prolific form.

Bennett said: ‘I’ve got the rest of this season and another two years on my contract so 300 is the next big target.

‘If I can get another 20 goals this season, that leaves me with another 30 to get in two seasons.

‘At the start of the season I was aiming for 30. But to get to 20 so quickly, I need to be aiming at 40 now.’

Having scored the first goal of his Borough career back in 2007 against the same opponents, Bennett admitted it looked like he might have to wait to reach the milestone.

‘I had a half-chance earlier on, but other than that, nothing really fell for me,’ he said.

‘I was a bit frustrated because it was quite an open game.

‘I was thinking it was still a good point at Oxford, but luckily the ball fell nicely and I put it away.

‘When the chance came along, I didn’t even think about the 250.

‘Instinct just kicked in and then when I scored, my first thought was to run over and celebrate with my uncle Russell and cousins Dylan, Chris and Daniel, who were at the game.

‘They live in Aylesbury and they have been to watch about six games and had never seen me score.

‘They probably thought I was lying about all these goals I’d scored.

‘My auntie Lisa didn’t come this time so now we’ve blamed it on her for the bad luck in the past.

‘I went out for the evening with them and it started to sink in that it’s quite a big achievement to score 250 goals for one club.

‘When I got to 200, I was really proud of that so it’s a great feeling to do it.’

Bennett also admitted that his team-mates deserve plenty of praise for making it a winning goal, with the defence and Nathan Ashmore turning in a fine collective display.

He added: ‘The back four and Nath were unbelievable.

‘Oxford put us under a lot of pressure as the game went on but the back four soaked everything up.

‘Even when they did beat Nathan, lads were on the line and throwing their bodies in the way.

‘That was what won us the game.

‘So it was nice to go up the other end and make their hard work worthwhile.

‘If I’d scored my 250th and we’d lost, it would have taken the gloss off it.

‘The fact that it was a winning goal makes it even more memorable.

‘Now we need to carry that on against St Albans. They are down there near the bottom but they beat us twice last season.

‘We always seem to struggle against the teams near the bottom so we need to put that right.’