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Match-winning goal belongs to me - Benning

27 January 2018

Stags' left-back Mal Benning insists he will claim this afternoon's last-minute winner in our 2-1 victory over Morecambe, despite the over-whelming majority of his teammates believing the goal belongs to striker Jimmy Spencer.

After falling behind to Shrimps' frontman Callum Lang's first half opener, a reinvigorated Stags' side staged a dramatic turnaround in the second period as top scorer Danny Rose made it 1-1, before Benning's strike beat Barry Roche in the 94th minute to move Stags into the Sky Bet League Two automatic promotion places.

And Benning is adamant that his late effort will be credited as his first goal of the season, despite former Plymouth Argyle man Spencer's claims that he got the vital touch.

"Jim said he got my touch but [it's] definitely my goal," said the attacking full-back.

"I think he's claiming it in his head and most of the changing room voted for him but I'm taking it. You can take my word on that, it's my goal.

"I was trying to get on the edge [of the box] every time Macca [Alex MacDonald] crossed the ball because I had a feeling it would drop to me. It dropped to me in the last minute and I shanked it but those ones go in!

"I pictured in my head hitting it differently, hitting it sweet, but to be fair Jimmy, whether he got a touch or not, he distracted the defender and it rolled through his legs and into the goal.

"I think he's claiming it in his head and most of the changing room voted for him but I'm taking it. You can take my word on that, it's my goal."

Mal Benning, left-back

"It's a winner in the last minute of a game. CJ [Hamilton] did it last week and I did it this week but a goal's a goal and it's nice to get a win."

Stags displayed what is becoming an epitomical never-say-die spirit to come from behind to propel themselves into the top three and Benning believes the focus will remain on staying grounded and concentrating on the next game.

"In the first half we were horrendous but with the quality we've got, you know you're going to get chances so it's basically just [turning] those chances into goals and we did that.

"We got a little rollicking at half-time. [In the] second half we kicked on and we controlled the game. We gave it a good go and Rosie got a goal and we were on top for most of the second half.

"We got our foot on the ball a bit more. Joel [Byrom]'s dictated midfield with Macca and Paul [Anderson] and Will [Atkinson] made a very good impact. It's just that bit of composure in the second half, we actually played a bit of football.

"A last-minute winner is a good feeling but we've got to keep concentrated and just focus on the next game, Barnet next Saturday. Let's not get too high, let's keep going."

Supporters can view Mal Benning's full post-match interview on iFollow Stags.

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