Benson thrilled to be up and running

Paul Benson scores against Bristol City
Paul Benson scores against Bristol City

Hatters striker Paul Benson was delighted to open his account for the season in Hatters’ 3-1 Capital Cup win over Championship side Bristol City on Tuesday night.

It had taken the 35-year-old until November last term to notch his first goal and only managed to add one more to that tally during a campaign in which by his own admission, he found difficult.

“I struggled last season, so to get the first one so early on this season, it’s only one, but it’s a start.”

Paul Benson

On getting off the mark so early this time, Benson said: “It was perfect and nice to score early on in the season.

“I didn’t do it last year, I struggled last season, so to get the first one so early on this season, it’s only one, but it’s a start. Hopefully when I next get an opportunity I can put another one in the back of the net and try to keep it rolling.

“As a forward, all you want to do when you play is score, so it’s nice to do that. Also on the flip side of that, it’s nice to contribute to a team win as well, that’s the main thing.

“I’m getting older now, so winning football games is more important to me than scoring goals. If you’d asked me 10 years ago, I’d say scoring goals is more important, I was a bit more selfish back then.

“Now I’m coming towards the end of my career, I want to win games, win trophies, that’s maybe more important to me than scoring goals now.

Benson’s goal when it came was a cool finish, beating on-loan Leicester City keeper Ben Hamer from close range, but it owed plenty to the wonderful vision and weight of pass from midfielder Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu.

The striker continued: “It was just a fantastic ball from Pelly really, the pass made the goal as the finish was the simple part of it.

“To see the run I made and to execute his pass to perfection just allowed me to take a touch in front of me, so well done to Pelly for finding me.”

Strike partner for the evening Jack Marriott, who notched twice himself, knew once the through ball was on its way, it would be 2-0, saying: “It was a great ball from Pelly. I was way out of it and as soon as I saw Benno control it I knew it was a goal.

“I train with him every day, so I know what he’s capable of. I knew it was a goal and started running over as soon as he hit it, that’s the quality that we’ve got in our dressing room.”

Benson had to be content with a cameo off the bench for Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Accrington Stanley, but felt manager John Still was correct to start both Craig Mackail-Smith and Josh McQuoid on the day.

He added: “I think the gaffer made right call on Saturday, he picked the two that I class as the the two best forwards that we had on form through pre-season, that’s my opinion on it.

“They deserved to start and they did well too as it was tough game to play in with not a lot of chances for them.

“They’re the two to get above in the starting 11, so we’re just trying to knock on the door and if that makes them play better, that’s part of us being part of the squad, so it can only be good for Luton Town.”