Following our U21s’ 2-2 draw against Ipswich Town, defender Danny Benson shared his thoughts on how the team played and the exciting prospect of potential first team football in the Papa John’s Trophy.
Our youngsters’ hard-fought draw against the Tractor Boys was tied up with a goal from Hayden Pickard on his birthday, following an excellent cross from Benson who picked out the wing-back from the other side of the pitch.
“I think in the first half we tried to get to grips with the way they played the ball out,” began Benson. “We pressed against them and at half-time we made a couple of changes and tried to stop their number 10 getting on the ball which I think we did well.
“In the second half we were much better and ultimately, we got something out of the game.”
A tricky end to the first half and a slow start to the second saw Barnsley with a hill to climb as they tried to recover from two quick goals.
However, the Reds kept their heads up and battled until the end, giving them a deserved point against last season’s southern champions.
“The two goals just before half-time really hit us, especially after we were 1-0 up,” continued the 18-year-old. “After half-time, we still struggled to get on the ball for a little bit but after that we dug deep, showed character and we got ourselves back into the game, I think we deserved the point we got out of it.”
Due to Kareem Hassan-Smith’s injury in our U21s’ previous outing at Millwall, Tom Harban elected to play Benson, naturally a centre back, in the right wing-back position for this encounter.
He coped well in an unfamiliar role, providing excellent defensive work as well as an attacking outlet down the flank.
“Playing at right wing-back it’s obviously different, you’ve got to really look where your man is and be aware of that in behind run, as well as pressing a lot more, it’s a lot harder,” he surmised. “I think I did well though, especially when I was trying to get forwards.”
During pre-season, Benson was involved with the senior set-up and impressed at Harrogate Town as a second half substitute.
He stated his desire to be involved with the first team in the upcoming Papa John’s Trophy fixtures, starting with Lincoln City on Tuesday evening.
“Being involved in the first team is something I look forward to,” he insisted. “It’s always good to be around the squad; you learn a lot more and I think if I keep trying my best, hopefully I’ll get a chance
“Even playing at right centre back I’m trying to get forward and deliver crosses like I did against Bristol City. I got another assist today and I’m happy with that.”