AVELEY boss Danny Scopes has heaped praise on loan Southend United midfielder Jon Benton after seeing the youngster score four goals in his side's 5-0 win against Felixstowe & Walton.

Benton's four goals all came in the first half of the Isthmian North clash at Parkside.

And the performance showed just why Scopes had been so keen to bring Benton to the club.

"Jon was our first signing and I’d worked with him before," said Scopes.

"He’d been in at Concord a few times when I was there and trained with the squad.

"We were looking to take him on board just before the season got stopped for Covid.

"He’s someone I’ve known for quite some time and he’s been unlucky in his football with injuries at certain times which have affected him.

"There was a misdiagnosis of an injury as well which delayed him and he’s probably not really played enough games of senior football for someone of his age.

"But The minute I got the Aveley job I contacted Southend and Ricky (Duncan) helped us out.

"He said it wasn’t a problem and Jon was keen to come and play games too."

Benton, who has yet to appear for the Shrimpers' first team, has now made two appearances for the Millers.

And it has certainly been an impressive start for the 20-year-old.

"Jon's played two games, he’s got a couple of assists and a 37 minute hat-trick before getting a fourth goal on Saturday," said Scopes.

"He will be a big part of what we’re trying to do.

"He’s a good professional and a good person which is important.

"We’re looking forward to working with him and hopefully we can help him develop and he can help us at Aveley so it works well both ways."

Scopes previously helped left-back Tom Clifford during a loan spell at Concord.

And he would welcome the opportunity to work with more of Blues' youngsters.

"The idea when they come in is for them to put themselves on the map as it were," said Scopes.

"I'd like to think I give them a professional environment and you get a young, hungry professional who is ready to go which is what you need at this level.

"It rubs off on the other boys too.

"They see these people coming in and see what it takes to be a professional.

" Some of our young lads will look at that and see they will have to up their standards if that's where they want to go.

"It works on all fronts and I'm keen to work with young players.

"If we can get a connection with Southend United and help their young players it will benefit both them and us."