KYLE BENNETT savoured a dream debut and admitted: It doesn’t get any better.
The attacking midfielder spoke of Pompey’s ‘perfect day’ as his two goals delivered a dream start to the Paul Cook era in the 3-0 win over Dagenham & Redbridge.
The success helped the Blues to their first opening-day win since 2006 in front of a crowd of 16,948 at Fratton Park.
Pompey dominated from the outset against the Daggers, but had to wait until the 51st minute for Gareth Evans to head his side in front on his debut.
Bennett then stepped up with two cracking finishes – his second a beauty from 25 yards.
The 24-year-old’s display showcased his attacking quality on a day full of positives for his side.
Bennett stated the occasion was everything he dreamed it would be.
He said: ‘It’s a perfect day. It doesn’t get any better.
‘The three points is always the main thing but getting the two goals made it even more pleasing.
‘It’s what we set out to do before the game – and it was class.
‘As soon as I walked out in front of 17,000 screaming us on it was brilliant.
‘You don’t see this in League Two. You don’t see it in League One, especially the singing. It was unbelievable.
‘To get off the mark with three goals and three points – you can’t get any better.
‘Enda (Stevens) gave me a great throw for the first goal, I tried to give the keeper the eyes and it went in.
‘The second one Tubbsy (Matt Tubbs) made a great run to open space for me, I hit it and fortunately it went in.
‘Gary Roberts was magnificent for it, too. His touch is excellent and he’ll be a big player for us.
‘It was my day with the two goals but I’m sure there will be a lot of other players stepping up this season.’
It was one-way traffic for the afternoon as Pompey racked up 12 shots on goal and had nearly two-thirds of the possession.
The brand of football Cook is determined to introduce was clearly evident as his side were full of options and played at a high tempo.
The Blues and the home crowd had to stay patient before they made the breakthrough, however.
Bennett felt the manner in which the fans didn’t become edgy was key to the success.
He feels that will be important moving forward.
‘After 20 minutes, when we couldn’t score, I thought the fans may get frustrated. They didn’t,’ added Bennett.
‘They stuck with us and showed that. I think that is going to be key this season.
‘We can get frustrated ourselves at not being able to break teams down.
‘But the fact that everyone stuck to it and stuck to their tasks was fantastic.
‘I think we can make teams nervous if we start as we did. With the fans behind us we can dominate.’