ROB Lacey earned praise from boss Mark Bentley after notching the first Canvey Island goal of his career.

Lacey has been involved with the Isthmian North side after asking the Bentley for a chance to prove his worth during the summer.

And Lacey - who is one of several Benfleet players to have been given an opportunity by Bentley - continued his progression by netting the opener in the Gulls’ 2-0 Essex Senior Cup third round win over Harlow Town, much to the pleasure of his manager.

Bentley, who celebrated a year in charge of Canvey last month, said: “I’m delighted with Rob.

“He has come in and had an opportunity with me this season.

“Rob has worked ever so hard and played the last few games, but he has done everything other than score.

“He was poor at the weekend and I think he will be the first to admit that but he impressed me at Harlow.

“Sam Delieu has been chomping at the bit to have an opportunity to show me what he is about.

“He did well towards the end of last season and I think he is feeling that he needs that chance.

“Sam has given me a headache but that’s good because that’s what I ask of players.

“It gives me a problem ahead of going to Haringey Borough on Saturday.”

The victory over the Isthmian South Central table-toppers, which was confirmed thanks to Tobi Joseph’s late effort from close range, also saw Canvey keep their first clean sheet in five outings.

And Bentley was pleased to see his side shut out a Harlow side who went into the Essex Senior Cup tie having scored 37 goals in all competitions this season.

The former Southend United midfielder added: “It was great for Lamz (Lamar Johnson) to keep a clean sheet.

“He had a quiet evening and he had been going on about wanting to keep a clean sheet for the last few weeks.

“A clean sheet is good for confidence and we were really pleased because it’s a competition we want to do well in.”