DORCHESTER Town have concluded their summer-long search for a goalkeeper with the loan signing of Gerard Benfield.

Benfield, 23, joins until January 2022 from rivals Weymouth and has extensive Southern league experience with Salisbury and Wimborne Town.

Benfield has been training with the Magpies' squad over the past week.

He could start Dorchester's first league game of the season, at home to Beaconsfield Town, on Saturday (3pm).

Dorchester manager Robbie Herrera told the Magpies' website: “We’re delighted to have him on board.

“He's a good physical presence. At this level you need your keeper to be of a certain stature, so he gives us that.

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"His shot stopping is very good and his kicking is great.

“He's going to come and get some much-needed game time and competitive football, which we can give him for his development.

“We're happy to have him. Our back line will be confident that they've got him behind them and we're looking forward to seeing him out there in a Dorchester shirt.”

Last season, Benfield was overlooked for a regular starting spot at National League side Weymouth in favour of Jack Bycroft and Ethan Ross.

However, he performed superbly when called upon, making a string of high-quality saves - notably in cup competitions.

His temporary departure from Weymouth leaves the Terras with just Ross Fitzsimons and young keeper Harrison Bruton as cover.