BENNO THE TOWN PENNO KING

STOCKSBRIDGE V SHEFFIELD UNITED   Ian Bennett.  22 July 2008
STOCKSBRIDGE V SHEFFIELD UNITED Ian Bennett. 22 July 2008
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IF Sunday’s League One play-off final goes to penalties, Worksop man Ian Bennett will feel right at home.

The Huddersfield Town keeper has been in top form when it comes to facing spot-kicks, saving two against Bournemouth in the semi-final.

Bennett gave away a penalty in the first leg and made amends with a save, before stopping one in the deciding shootout after the second leg.

Speaking ahead of Sunday’s Old Trafford final against his former club Peterborough United, Bennett told the Guardian: “We do our work beforehand, and it feels great when you save one.”

“We’ve had 12 or 13 penalties against us this season and between me and Alex Smithies (fellow Town goalkeeper) we’ve saved 50 per cent.”

Despite his success rate, Bennett is hoping to avoid a spot-kick competition this weekend, at a ground where he was once beaten from 12 yards by then Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy.

“All the pressure is on the striker really, but it’s unfortunate when you’ve played near enough 50 games, to have it decided that way.”

With a game this big looming, Huddersfield Town fans will be feeling the nerves already, but Bennett insists he’s more than ready for it.

“It’s a massive game for the club,” he said.

“Coming towards the end of my career, I’d never have thought one or two years ago that I’d get this opportunity, but I’m fully focused and looking forward to it.”