When Exeter City tackle Chesterfield in a vital League Two match on Good Friday, the Grecians' teenage goalkeeper Christy Pym is hoping he will be between the posts for the Devon side once again.
Pym received an unexpected summons for City’s 1-1 League Two draw with Cheltenham Town at St James’ Park last Saturday – a game in which he produced a couple of good saves.
He replaced Artur Krysiak, who has been blamed for some of the soft goals the Grecians have conceded lately.
It is not clear if manager Paul Tisdale will stick with the same line-up for the match with high-flying Chesterfield, but Pym insisted he will be ready if that is the case.
“I’m always ready and I always want to play,” he said. “I have wanted to play since I started here at Exeter City.
“Even if I wasn’t ready, I was still eager to play. That’s why I signed and that’s what I’m here to do.
“If I get the call on Friday, I get the call. If I don’t, I don’t. I just move on and prepare to play on Monday, because I always want to play.”
Picking Pym was a risky move by Tisdale, considering that the 18-year-old had only played four first-team games before last weekend. He also made two big errors in his last meaningful match, when City crashed out of the Under-21 Premier League Cup 3-2 at home to Burnley.
However, Pym said that he has worked hard since that game and has learned from those mistakes.
Pym declared: “To be fair to Mel [Gwinnett], the goalkeeping coach here, he has helped me a lot.
“I’m a young ’keeper and it could have gone either way with those kind of mistakes, but he looked after me.
“I got on to the training ground and trained well and tried to take it in my stride.
“It’s football, at the end of the day, it’s going to happen. You’re going to make mistakes. You have just got to get on with it. You have got to learn from your mistakes and hope that things like that don’t happen again.”
Last Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Cheltenham was not without its nervous moments for the ’keeper, though. In the 90th minute, he played a poor ball out to Matt Grimes on the edge of his box, which almost led to a late winner for the Robins.
However, overall, he played well and was pleased that the late mistake did not end up costing his side.
“I found out I was going to start just before we went out to warm up,” said Pym
“It did come as a surprise, because I think Artur [Krysiak] has been class this season, but I’m quite happy to take my chance.
“I was pleased with my own performance, up until the 90th minute when I played that ball out and put Matt Grimes under pressure. At the time I couldn’t see the player closing down and I thought Grimesy had plenty of time to turn and take the ball up the pitch. However, just as I have released the ball, I have seen the guy come out from behind Pat [Baldwin] and go after him. My heart sank a little bit.”
The point against Cheltenham helped to keep City two points outside the relegation places. And with Northampton Town and Wycombe Wanderers, two of the sides below City in the table, playing each other on Good Friday, a win at the Spireites’ Proact Stadium would be a massive boost for the Grecians.
“We shouldn’t be down where we are because we are a good enough team,” added Pym. “It hasn’t been the best season from our standards, but hopefully we will be fine, we can stay up, and we can crack on next season.”