Bennett extends his goal target

Justin Bennett, centre, celebrates scoring against Colchester Picture: Dave Haines
Justin Bennett, centre, celebrates scoring against Colchester Picture: Dave Haines
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Justin Bennett has set himself a new goal target after his blistering start to the season.

Gosport Borough’s record scorer has 16 goals to his name already this term, after netting twice in last weekend’s 6-3 FA Cup loss to Colchester United.

And with 11 league strikes, he is the joint-leading marksman in the division alongside Boreham Wood’s Lee Angol, while Hawks’ JJ Hooper (eight) and Borough strike partner Matt Paterson (seven) also feature strongly in the charts.

Having outlined his ambitions to reach 15 league goals before a ball was kicked this season, Bennett has now adjusted his sights ahead of tomorrow’s Vanarama Conference South home showdown with basement-boys Staines.

And that means he is looking to hit the 25-goal mark before the end of the campaign, while he chases the prize of becoming the division’s leading striker for Alex Pike’s side.

Bennett said: ‘I’ve got 16 now and I set myself 15 league goals at the start of the season.

‘I think I need to stretch it so I’m going for 25 league goals now.

‘The target is to finish as the top goalscorer in the division.

‘I am up there at the moment and there is a lad from Boreham Wood. But I think it’s a realistic target.

‘I’m not saying I will definitely get there but it’s something to aim for.

‘The way myself and Pato (Paterson) have started the season, I think it’s possible.’

After their FA Cup clash with League One Colchester, Bennett is determined to get back to firing Borough further up the league table.

And he has warned against any suggestions of an easy three points, even though Staines are in a dreadful run of form.

‘We’ve all learnt you can’t take any teams lightly,’ said Bennett.

‘The worry is we subconsciously take our foot off the pedal or think they are at the bottom so it should be easy.

‘I think they have lost their past six games but, having lost quite heavily ourselves to Colchester, we are keen to get back to winning ways.

‘This is a perfect opportunity to do that.’

Despite an uncharacteristic below-par defensive display against Colchester, Bennett insists there should be no hangover from the defeat, having faced quality players from League One.

He said: ‘We talked about it in training and we agreed it was a one-off game.

‘I think we all appreciate we were outclassed but I don’t think we let ourselves down. I think you can box that game off.

‘We were up against League One opposition and we don’t come across players like that every week.

‘We shipped six goals but I don’t think that will have any bearing on the game.

‘Confidence should still be high because we have defended so well in the league so far this season.

‘And, personally, scoring two goals against Colchester means my confidence is sky high at the moment.’

Skipper Sam Pearce, who was badly missed in central defence against Colchester, should come straight back in after serving his one-match ban.

GOSPORT BOROUGH (from): Ashmore, Forbes, Pearce, Poate, Williams, Carter, Wooden, Smith, Ramsey, Bennett, Paterson, Molyneaux,

Woodward, Harris, Wort, Dunford, Wilde, Gerring, Gosney