Gosport Borough legend Justin Bennett aiming to become first Wessex League Division 1 striker to score half century of goals since 2009

Gosport Borough legend Justin Bennett is aiming to become the first player since 2009 to score 50 goals in a season for a Wessex League Division 1 club.

Monday, 16th December 2019, 2:04 pm
Updated Monday, 16th December 2019, 5:13 pm
Justin Bennett, right, in action for Gosport Borough in the 2014 FA Trophy final against Cambridge United. Pic: Dave Haines

Bennett took his 2019/20 tally to a remarkable 39 in all competitions at the weekend with four goals in Bemerton Heath’s 8-0 win over rock bottom Follands Sports.

It was his sixth league hat-trick of the season, and just in Division 1 action Bennett - Gosport’s all-time record scorer with 263 goals - has netted 24 times.

That is only three fewer than the total Hythe’s Sam Woodward scored in winning the divisional Golden Boot last season.

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The last Division 1 player to reach half a century of goals was Ian Davies for Whitchurch in 2008/09.

The former Thatcham Town striker scored all 50 of his goals in the league, but Whitchurch could only finish sixth.

More recently, Ryan Pennery struck 48 goals in all competitions for Baffins Milton Rovers in 2016/17. Of those, 39 came in Wessex Division 1 games.

Two seasons earlier, Tadley’s Brett Denham had also scored 39 Division 1 goals.

And in 2011/12, Simon Woods scored 38 times as AFC Portchester finished runners-up in the second tier of the Wessex League.

Bennett is no stranger to scoring lots of goals in the Wessex League.

Prior to joining Gosport, he was the Premier Division’s top scorer in 2005/06 with 48 league goals in just 30 games. In all that season, Betted netted 63 times - winning him a move to Eastleigh.

Here, The News looks at the recent Wessex Division 1 top scorers:

2018/19

31 - Sergio Caballero (AFC Stoneham), Sam Woodward (Hythe)

League only

27 - Woodward

24 - Eduardo Jiminez (AFC Stoneham)

2017/18

33 - Brett Denham (Tadley Calleva)

League only

27 - Denham

24 - Max Wilcock (Christchurch)

2016/17

48 - Ryan Pennery (Baffins)

36 - Doug Rowe (Hamble Club)

League only

39 - Pennery

32 - Rowe

31 - Brett Denham (Tadley)

2015/16

30 - James Tennant (Tadley)

League only

30 - Tennant

27 - Brett Denham (Tadley), Sam Knowles (Fleet Spurs), Luke Stone (Christchurch)

2014/15

40 - Brett Denham (Tadley)

League only

39 - Denham

2013/14

35 - Rob Tambling (Petersfield)

34 - Michael Dixon (Andover Town)

32 - Brett Denham (Tadley

League only

34 - Tambling

33 - Dixon

31 - Brett Denham (Tadley)

30 - Kabba Jack (New Milton

2012/13

24 - Gareth Bricknell (Cowes), Callum Coker (Petersfield), Dec Edwards (Team Solent/Brockenhurst), Sam Knowles (Fleet Spurs)

League only

24 - Bricknell, Coker

2011/12

38 - Simon Woods (AFC Portchester)

League only

38 - Woods

29 - Leo Churms (Team Solent)

2010/11

40 - Sam Knowles (Fleet Spurs)

35 - Declan McGregor (Downton)

League only

38 - Knowles

32 - McGregory

2009/10

30 - Declan McGregor (Downton)

League only

30 - McGregor

2008/09

50 - Ian Davies (Whitchurch)

39 - Nic Turpin (Amesbury)

34 - Mark Robinson (US Portsmouth)

League only

50 - Davies

37 - Turpin

33 - Robinson

2007/08

45 - Nic Turpin (Amesbury)

League only

44 - Turpin

35 - Declan McGregory (Laverstock)

32 - Luke Walker (Tadley/Fawley)

2006/07

37 - Graham Lindsey (Locks Heath)

League only

36 - Lindsay