GERARD Benfield’s stunning debut performance for Weymouth helped the goalkeeper feel “part of the squad”.

The Terras were defeated 2-1 by Chesterfield but Brian Stock’s men could have faced a larger deficit were it not for the heroics of Benfield, who came in after Jack Bycroft dislocated a finger.

The former Salisbury and Wimborne keeper was on top form to defy striker Akwasi Asante four times, including two wonderful close-range stops.

After the game, Benfield revealed the Weymouth squad had congratulated him following an eventful National League debut.

He said: “On a personal note it was really good to get out there and get the debut. Obviously it’s not nice that somebody got injured to get the chance.

“But when you get the chance you’ve got to take it and hopefully I’ve done well enough to put a question in the gaffer’s mind.

“It’s a shame about the result. There were spells of the game we dominated and Chesterfield took their chances – that’s why I think they’ll be up there at the end of the season.”

Expanding on his maiden appearance, he said: “I was happy to not just get my debut, but it was a good performance.

“The lads congratulated me at the end and made me feel part of the squad. Sometimes being a sub goalkeeper you feel like you’re not part of the squad.

“But it was a confidence-booster and I’m happy to get a debut under my belt.”

Weymouth return to action on Saturday (5.20pm), hosting Halifax in front of 800 fans.

Dorset Echo

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