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Wealdstone hotshot is a better finisher than I was, says Scott McGleish

PUBLISHED: 07:30 25 August 2016

Wealdstone striker Elliot Benyon (left) in action during Saturday's goalless draw at Whitehawk. Pic: Alan Palmer

Wealdstone striker Elliot Benyon (left) in action during Saturday's goalless draw at Whitehawk. Pic: Alan Palmer

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Scott McGleish has hailed Elliot Benyon as “a better finisher than I ever was” following the striker’s sparkling start to life at Wealdstone.

Benyon has really impressed since arriving at Grosvenor Vale from neighbours Hayes & Yeading this summer, scoring on each of his first four league starts before finally drawing a blank in Saturday’s goalless draw at Whitehawk.

The former Torquay United front-man is built in the same diminutive mould as Stones’ assistant manager McGleish, who played league football for the likes of Wycombe, Barnet and Colchester.

While McGleish can boast more league appearances than the striker he now coaches, he admits Benyon is more ruthless when it comes to putting the ball between the sticks.

“People will naturally draw comparisons between us because we are of similar build and both hard-working strikers, but I would say Elliot is a more clinical finisher than I was,” he told the Times.

“He was probably a little bit disappointed not to score on Saturday at Whitehawk, but he had got four in four before that and from only about five chances.”

Boosted by Benyon’s goals, Stones have clocked up nine points from their first five games, meaning they and title favourites Ebbsfleet are the only unbeaten sides left in the National League South.

It is all in stark contrast to their first two seasons back at this level when they managed only three points and then one from the opening six games.

The Bank Holiday weekend brings the opportunity to add to the tally, first with Saturday’s home game against new boys Hampton & Richmond and then Monday’s trip to Bishop’s Stortford.

The two sides have enjoyed contrasting fortunes at the start of the campaign, Hampton seemingly thriving in the rarefied air of the National League South while a new-look Stortford find themselves hovering above the bottom three.

McGleish’s hunch is the differing recruitment strategies of the two clubs may explain why they are at different ends of the standings.

“Hampton have an experienced manager who did well to get them promoted and has kept the feel-good factor within the club,” he said.

“He has also added one or two, which you have to do when you come up as it is no good just being loyal to those who got you there. You have to add faces and then those you had before need to step up and, looking at their results, they have done that.

“Bishop’s Stortford lost a manager and the new one has brought in loads of new players – maybe 14 or 15.

“Trying to gel that many is hard work and you end up with at least four or five new signings sitting on the bench not happy. Maybe that is why it has been a bit of a struggle, and hopefully on Monday we can make it a bit more of one.”

By then Stones manager Gordon Bartlett will be back in the dugout, meaning McGleish can return to assistant duties.

He will be happy to see the return of his mentor, with whom he says a telepathic understanding is already developing.

“He phoned after the Oxford game to ask if he could stay away another week because we’d won,” he added.

“We built a really good relationship even when I was just a player here with him asking my opinion and things. We often find now we are thinking the same thing as I’ll say something to him and he’ll reply ‘I was just about to say that’.

“He says I’ll be a good manager one day, but I’ll only make a good one because of him.”

Looking further ahead, Stones entertain another of the division’s newcomers, Poole Town, on Non-League Day (September 3).

With no Premier League or Championship fixtures scheduled that day, in a bid to attract fans of those clubs at a loose end, Stones have slashed prices to £5 for adults and £3 for Under-18s, while Under-16s go free.

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