Three wins from three leave Torquay at the summit of League 2, and the player who has orchestrated their impressive burst from the blocks is, without doubt, Eliot Benyon.
Benyon will have a superb season with the Gulls because of his movement, strength and superlative reading of the game. Although his odds are almost as short as he is, I wish I’d had some of the 40/1 odds being offered pre-season on him ending up as top goalscorer.
I travelled to Plainmoor with another 300 Cobblers fans on the opening day of the season with the legitimate hope of some points, following an impressive pre-season for Northampton. But it quickly became clear that Benyon had the upper hand, and was enjoying himself as he ran our defenders ragged. Dwarfed by our lumbering centre backs (he’s a relatively titchy 5 foot 9), he played largely with his back to goal during the first half, drawing defenders to him and holding up play when required.
The 22-year-old also drifted out to the left flank at will, jagging in and wrongfooting defenders with his low centre of gravity (have I mentioned he’s quite short?). His intelligent work around the box was rewarded early in the second half when his diagonal run into the box allowed him the angle to fire hard and low past Janssen.
His second and third goals of the season were against Lincoln City on the second weekend of the season. The first, a header from a set piece, indicates his ability to lose his marker, and his second was another header to reinforce the message that he won’t need a stepladder in the six-yard box to score such goals this season.
The interesting thing about Benyon is that he has struggled to force his way into Torquay’s first team, after a few cameos last season from the bench. His record of 29 goals in 103 appearances does not tell the whole story about a player many believe to have the potential to light up League 2 this season.