City man happy to be utility player
Despite being deployed in midfield for a majority of last season, Scot Bennett has taken up the centre-half berth with regularity this year – fulfilling the role he was trained in primarily through the Academy – and played a major part in gaining four points from the most recent two away games in Dagenham and Northampton.
For some, therefore, it was an ultimate test of his versatility (other than handing him the goalkeeper’s gloves) to see him deployed in a striker’s role during the closing stages of Exeter City’s fixture against Newport County AFC.
Bennett was involved in pretty much everything that went City’s way in the final third during the last quarter of an hour – though fans that had been at Chesterfield on the final day of last season won’t have been too surprised to see the City man causing problems to the opposition defence.
The Grecians were chasing a 2-0 deficit – and ultimately weren’t able to close the gap – but Bennett admitted that he is happy just being used, wherever manager Paul Tisdale chooses to position him.
“I played up front at Chesterfield last year so it was fresh in my mind how to play the position,” said Bennett. “The movement is obviously quite different to playing at centre-back! Luckily it meant it created a few chances but unfortunately we couldn’t put them away.
“Every now and then in training, if one of the strikers isn’t quite fit then I’ll be put up front for one of the sessions, so I’m sort of used to it.
“I’m just happy to be playing and when I was asked to go up front I just wanted to get on and do what I do. I love the game, and if I’m going to be playing there then I’ll play there.
“And if Paul wants me to play centre-back, then I’ll play centre-back. So long as I’m on the pitch, I’m happy.”
Bennett had the chance to cut the deficit in the closing stages after a ball by Matt Oakley dissected the defence – he rounded Lenny Pidgeley but a goal-line clearance by Harry Worley denied him a second of the season.
He explained: “The striker’s instinct wasn’t quite there – I didn’t know whether to hit it as the ‘keeper was coming out or take it round him like I did.
“But when I took it round him and looked up, I thought it was in – but the defender has done well to get back and unfortunately it hasn’t gone in.”
While the result was inopportune for the Grecians, Bennett is already looking onto next weekend’s trip to Lancashire to face Fleetwood Town at the Highbury Stadium – and another chance to earn three points.
“Fleetwood are a good side so we’re going to have to work hard this week and nail down on our defensive errors from this week by looking at them on the DVD,” continued Scot.
“Hopefully we can pick up the three points and play our football, because when we play as we did in the first half, we know we can open things up.”
Click here to see the full post match interview with Scot Bennett on Grecian Player.