IT proved a case of quality not quantity for Doncaster Rovers’ Star Kyle Bennett in his first season at the club
Bennett only found the back of the net five times, but two of his goals made it to the last four in the voting for the club’s Goal of the Year, won by Brian Stock for his long-range equaliser in the 2-1 victory against Peterborough at London Road in October,
Ironically, Bennett scored the winner in that game just seven minutes after coming off the bench on the hour mark after what proved an inspired substitution by Rovers’ boss Dean Saunders.
Yet Bennett admitted this week that it is not always easy to make an impact coming off the bench.
“It can be hard when you come on midway through the second half or whatever, trying to come to terms with the pace of the game when everyone else has settled into it, “ he said.
“That is particularly the case if the team are behind when you come on and they are looking at you to try and score a goal.”
Bennett’s potential was spotted by the then Rovers’ boss Sean O’Driscoll during his time at League Two Bury last season.
He rejected a new contract with the promoted club to play Championship football with Rovers. When the two club’s couldn’t agree on a fee the matter went to a tribunal where Rovers were ordered to pay the Shakers up to £180,000 in stage payments depending on appearances,
It was more than Rovers had bargained for but the midfielder, who has clever footwork, pace to burn and a surprisingly powerful shot given his slight build, has looked a snip at times when he has been running hot. At other times his defensive work-rate let him down - an aspect of his game that he has worked on with manager Dean Saunders - and he was left out of the side.
Like the rest of his team-mates, Bennett - who will now be playing in the same league as Bury next season - was disappointed that Rovers ended up being relegated
“I certainly wasn’t thinking about relegation when I came here last summer,” he said, “Obviously I’m gutted that we’ve gone down, but in a sense it wasn’t a surprise that we’ve gone down because we were in the relegation zone for most of the season.
“The only plus was that we finished the season playing quite well. There are a lot of good players at the club and if we can keep the majority of them together, and add one or two, then I think we’ll do alright next season.”