Benji Magee's red-hot form doesn't come as any surprise to Loughgall boss Dean Smith

Loughgall’s Benji Magee has scored eight Premiership goals this season. PIC: INPHO/Matt Mackey
Loughgall’s Benji Magee has scored eight Premiership goals this season. PIC: INPHO/Matt Mackey

Only Cliftonville ace Ben Wilson (13) and Coleraine’s Conor McKendry (nine) have found the net on more occasions than 21-year-old Magee, who scored a hat-trick against Newry City last month.

He has also contributed goals against Carrick Rangers, Larne and Crusaders with the latest double helping Loughgall recover from going 1-0 down early on as they fired back in sublime fashion, scoring three in five first-half minutes before adding another two after the break.

Magee’s form will undoubtedly be attracting the attention of clubs further up the Irish League pyramid and boss Smith is delighted for his young centre forward.

"It hasn't been a surprise at all,” he said. “The talent was always there.

"Maybe he was a bit inconsistent last year because there were times in games where he was unplayable and other times where he wasn't just as good.

"That consistency has came into his game this season and you can see he's playing with a real confidence and swagger at the minute.

"He's creating chances, scoring goals and doing what a centre forward should do really.

"Benji is a very important player for us.

"He's an exciting player with the way he plays and how he plays excites people every time he gets the ball.

"Benji would be the first to tell you that there are 10 other people on the pitch that help him do what he does.

"He was really important in getting that first goal and from then on he looked a real threat any time he got the ball – him and Jay Boyd.

“Long may it continue.”

The result means Loughgall have now won four of their last five home matches in all competitions and they’ve collected 16 points from a possible 21 against their fellow bottom-six rivals, which has allowed them to sit comfortably in seventh.

"Every team wants to have good home form and for us and where we want to be it's imperative that it's good,” added Smith. “We had a tough start with Coleraine, Glentoran and Linfield as three of our first four home games.

"People were looking at our home form and saying it was poor, but when you look at the games we had it was tough.

"We have got wins at the right time and that has helped us turn it around."

The Villagers had been due to face Annagh United in the BetMcLean League Cup last-16 on Tuesday, but that has been postponed due to damage caused by recent flooding at the BMG Arena.

Smith lives a stone’s throw from Annagh’s ground in Portadown so has witnessed the scenes first hand and passed on his club’s support.

"From me personally and on behalf of the club, we echo the support from every other club,” he said. “Football in Northern Ireland is a small community and everybody knows everybody.

"It's terrible to see.

"I live 100 yards from their pitch and to see it under three or four feet of water was heartbreaking.

"Hopefully they can get whatever repairs they need done as quickly as possible and get back to playing at home again.”