Four-some Benson shows Shrews what they are missing
COCA-COLA LEAGUE TWO Daggers 5 Shrewsbury Town 0 STRIKER Paul Benson showed Shrewsbury Town just what they have missed out on with a sensational four-goal burst at Victoria Road on Tuesday night, writes MIKE SIMMONDS. The Shrews came in with a serious mo
COCA-COLA LEAGUE TWO
Daggers 5 Shrewsbury Town 0
STRIKER Paul Benson showed Shrewsbury Town just what they have missed out on with a sensational four-goal burst at Victoria Road on Tuesday night, writes MIKE SIMMONDS.
The Shrews came in with a serious money bid for Benson in the summer, but the forward rejected the chance to move to Shropshire, and opted to sign a new contract with Daggers.
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By the end of the first half, he had proved his worth to Daggers tenfold, with a hat-trick to his name, as the home side coasted into a 4-0 lead.
Boss John Still kept the same side that defeated Torquay 5-3 at the weekend, and with Shrews starting the season in promising form aswell, this was always going to be an entertaining affair.
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It proved so too, as Jake Robinson sent a couple of efforts wide, while Benson had a low shot straight at Chris Neal.
Will Antwi came closest, as his header was tipped over the top by Neal, before Benson got started after 20 minutes as Peter Gain sent over an inviting cross and the forward leapt perfectly to direct his header into the corner.
The great thing about Daggers is that when they get on top, they never let their opponents off the hook, and, especially at home, a one-goal lead so often becomes two or three pretty quickly.
That was to be the case on Tuesday night too, as the impressive Josh Scott advanced into the box, and from his cross-shot, Benson slid in for his second of the evening.
The chances kept coming, as Mark Arber fired into the side-netting, while Dave Hibbert put a header over for Shrews.
It was 3-0 on 36 minutes though and came from one of the more unlikely sources in the Daggers side, as left back Scott Griffiths rifled a glorious strike past Neal from just inside the box.
It was only the fourth goal of the 23-year-old's career, and his first since the 4-2 defeat against Altrincham back on April 11, 2006.
To make matters worse for the visitors, Daggers made it four before the break, with Benson notching a 19-minute hat-trick.
This time it was Danny Green who swung over the cross, and though it looked like Benson was climbing all over the back of Graham Coughlan, no foul was given, and the striker did the rest.
There was no let up from the hosts though as Scott picked up poor goal kick from Neil, advanced towards goal and let fly with a cracking effort, but Neal redeemed himself to palm round the post.
Shrews almost had a goal of their own before the break as Shane Cansdell-Sherriff broke on the left and his cross was volleyed goalwards by Robinson, only for Tony Roberts to produce a stunning save.
It was always going to be hard for the hosts to continue at such a pace after the interval, and they did drop off in the opening period.
The visitors almost took advantage, but Hibbert's header was knocked off the line and then Kelvin Langmead's shot was blocked by the legs of Roberts.
That woke Daggers back into life again, and Taiwo fired off target, before the man of the night Benson hit his fourth and his side's fifth.
Once again, he was allowed the freedom of the area to nod in another excellent cross by Gain to wrap up a magical night for the home supporters and gain complete revenge for their final day defeat last season.
Daggers: Tony Roberts, Scott Doe, Scott Griffiths, Mark Arber, Will Antwi, Danny Green (Graeme Montgomery 77), Stuart Thurgood, Solomon Taiwo, Peter Gain, Paul Benson, Josh Scott (Wesley Thomas 72).
Subs not used: Chris Lewington, Alex Bentley, Anwar Uddin, Abu Ogogo, Billy Bingham.
Booked: Arber, Scott.
Shrews: Chris Neal, Dean Holden, Graham Coughlan (Steven Leslie 46), Shane Cansdell-Sherriff, Craig Disley, Joss Labadie, Kevin McIntyre, Kelvin Langmead, Dave Hibbert, Jake Robinson, Nathan Elder (Omer Riza 46, Andrew Gray 55)
Subs not used: Andreas Arestidou, Terry Dunfield, Jake Simpson, Kris Bright
Attendance: 1,683 (inc 230 away fans).
How proud were you to be a Daggers fan last night? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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