CULT STA­TUS WITH TRE­BLE

Reuben hat-trick de­lights Pil­grims

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Matt Bam­sey

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

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