Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale had no qualms in throwing the captain’s armband to Scot Bennett for Saturday’s 3-2 win at Accrington Stanley.
The City boss needed a new skipper, with regular captain Danny Coles missing out after undergoing an operation on a knee injury last Thursday.
It ended a run of 65 consecutive appearances for Coles and, with Bennett and Jordan Moore-Taylor preferred to start at centre back instead of vice-captain Pat Baldwin, it meant that Tisdale had to look elsewhere for someone to wear the armband.
Bennett has skippered City for reserve and youth team games before now and Tisdale said he was the outstanding choice, after discussions with Coles as to who should have the honour.
“Scot has done it for the reserves a number of times, he is used to doing it and he is acquainted with being in that position,” Tisdale said.
“I asked him not to worry about it and take too much responsibility on because that can often happen.
“I asked Danny Coles who he would give it to without him or Pat [Baldwin] being on the field and he recommended Scot and it was the unanimous decision, really.
“Pat is our vice-captain and would have been captain had he started, but he had an injection on Monday and missed a bit of training. He has been struggling for -e last two or three weeks, but he will be OK.
“Like Danny Coles, he was carrying on for the team, but there comes a point where you just say: ‘Let’s play the young players, let’s trust them’ and we let them do it.”
With Bennett, 23, and Moore-Taylor, 19, starting at centre half, it meant City lacked experience at the heart of their back-line. That was provided on either side, with the two youngsters flanked by 34-year-old Danny Butterfield on the right and Craig Woodman, 30, on the left.
“There was a large onus on [Craig] Woodman and [Danny] Butterfield because of the two young centre-halves and the two of them were exceptional, especially Butterfield,” said Tisdale.
Indeed, Butterfield came into his own when Accrington had fought back from 3-0 down to 3-2, with the former Crystal Palace and Southampton full-back making two crucial interceptions to preserve Exeter’s lead.
It was City’s first win in two months and ended a long two-week break since their last League Two game, the 2-2 draw with Bury, after which Tisdale said he would be doing some hard work on the training field with his players.
The City boss felt it was a worthwhile exercise as well, adding: “We really used those two weeks – I wish we had two weeks between every game!
“Although I’m not saying we would be 3-0 up every time, but we used these two weeks very, very wisely.
“We have had a number of double sessions, but that is all part of being successful as a team.”