CULT STATUS WITH TREBLE
Reuben hat-trick delights Pilgrims
JOHN Sheridan says Reuben Reid has acquired legendary status after the Plymouth striker scored the first hat-trick in a Devon derby since 1929.
The marksman took his season’s tally to 17 as Plymouth again took the bragging rights with a double over arch-rivals Exeter.
Plymouth’s fourth successive victory cemented their place in the play-offs and inflicted a serious dent in Exeter’s promotion ambitions.
Not that Sheridan is going to get carried away, despite sending 1,683 triumphant visiting fans home happy.
The Pilgrims chief beamed: “Reuben is now a legend after scoring a hat-trick in a derby. If you do that, people will remember you for a long time and he will get the plaudits.
“But this was a very good team effort and it is great to get three points against a very good footballing side.
“We were excellent for 35 minutes and then switched off before halftime, which allowed them to get back into it.
“I had a go at the players at half-time but they responded really well and put a right shift in.
“This one is for the supporters and it gives us the bragging rights.
“We need to stay focused because we are still a long way from doing what we want to do. At the end of the day, it is only three points.”
Plymouth came flying out of the traps and were denied an opener when Christy Pym managed to shovel Drew Talbot’s cross to safety, with Reid waiting to pounce.
Bobby Reid was twice off target before Reuben’s piledriver was blocked by a brave headed clearance from Craig Woodman.
But Plymouth got the goal their pressure deserved and, when it arrived, it had a stroke of luck about it.
Bobby Reid made a hash of his shot from outside the box but the ball fell kindly for Reuben, who bent in a delightful shot.
Pym produced a stunning finger-tip save to push Lewis Alessandra’s swerving, dipping shot over the crossbar and prevent Plymouth from establishing a two-goal cushion. Reuben Reid wasted a chance to grab a second after collecting Olly Lee’s pass, finding time and space for the shot, only to drag his effort wide.
Exeter snatched an equaliser in first-half stoppage time when Jordan Moore-Taylor’s cross flashed across the face of the six-yard box and Arron Davies arrived in the nick of time to blast the ball into the roof of the net.
Exeter pressed after the break, but Plymouth defended well and quickly regained the lead. Matt Oakley clumsily bundled into the back of Alessandra and Reuben gave Pym no chance from the spot.
The Pilgrims were reduced to ten men on the hour after Lee flew into a tackle on Tom Nichols and referee Graham Scott had no hesitation in flashing the red card.
But the sending off made little difference as Plymouth went 3-1 up.
Reuben Reid went clean through and, despite the best efforts of Pym and Oakley on the line, the in-form striker completed his treble.
Despite boasting a numerical advantage Exeter never looked likely to get back into it.
Oakley’s mistake gifted Ryan Brunt a glorious chance to put the gloss on the scoreline but the substitute could only fire straight at Pym.
Exeter manager Paul Tisdale accused his side of some suicidal defending. He groaned:“We weren’t at our best and I feel terribly disappointed. It is very hard to defend the team when we have defended so poorly at crucial times.
“They scored off the back of some very weak defending.
“It is quite clear this was a big game for us and one we didn’t want to lose, especially being a home game.
“It’s very easy to be stood here 30 minutes after the end of the game and be critical and downbeat about my team because we’ve been beaten.
“Plymouth are a side that defend very well and, when they get in front, it is very difficult to haul them back.”
HAPPY DAYS: Reuben Reid shows his delight after completing his hat-trick for Plymouth
STAR MAN REUBE
N REID Plymou