Left-back Mal Benning says his phenomenal volley against Exeter City this evening was the best goal he’s scored this season.
With the Stags leading 1-0, Benning hit an unstoppable 35-yard volley into the top corner before Ryan Tafazolli added to his own first-half strike after the hosts had scored two goals to claw themselves back into the match.
The former York City man has already scored two stunning volleys this season – a right-footed effort at Dagenham & Redbridge and a pinpoint left-footed strike at home to Newport County – but says this is his best yet.
Benning said: “I have seen it bouncing and I’ve thought, why not have a go? It’s one of them where I have looked down and struck it, then looked up and thought ‘woah!’
“When I have seen it fly into the top corner I thought it’s my day and what a goal.
“I would say it is my best one, the way I connected with it was ridiculous and I haven’t seen it back yet. But on first thoughts I am going to say it has topped the other two.”
The left-back gave credit to his team-mates for the win, especially fellow defender Ryan Tafazolli who scored the winner with a sublime volley eight minutes from time.
“A lot of credit has got to go to the whole team for not giving in at 2-2 and then Tafs (Tafazolli) coming up with a legendary goal.
“The team spirit and team togetherness is there, we could have crumbled with players losing their heads and shouting at each other but as we are all mates off the pitch, we stayed together and got the win.
“When it went to 2-2 it would have been very easy for us to cave in, but because of the character we have had all year and the team spirit has paid dividends again.”
The goalscorer also mentioned his gratitude for Stags’ manager Adam Murray, who has kept faith with the full-back throughout a difficult period in his career.
“My performances have been very inconsistent if I am being honest. I have ups and downs; the first two games [after] I came back, I did alright then went through a rough patch.
“I have got to give credit to the gaffer and the coaching staff because I have had these lows before and I have been straight out the team. I only came out the team here once, but luckily I came on as a sub.
“A lot of credit has to go them for keeping faith in me, the standards I hit before my injury were some of the best in my career so hopefully I can get back to that and look ahead to next season.”
Supporters will be able to view Benning’s post-match interview on Stags Player HD later.