There were few positives to take from Exeter City’s 3-1 defeat to Oxford United on Boxing Day, but, on a day to forget for the club, the performance of Jamie Reid at least gave the City faithful a little festive cheer.
Reid was introduced as a second-half substitute with 33 minutes of the fixture remaining and with the Grecians trailing 3-0. The 18-year-old certainly saw plenty of the ball and had four attempts at goal. Three of those were on target, which led to warm applause from a home crowd which was otherwise frustrated by the Boxing Day fare.
“I have been substitute five times now and managed to get on against Oxford. I just wanted to show everyone what I could do,” Reid said.
“I wasn’t the best, but I just tried to be positive and run towards goal. I had nothing to lose, really, because the team were 3-0 down, so I went on and just tried to enjoy the experience. Playing alongside Jamie Cureton was good as well.
“I thought I could have done much better, but I just wanted to be as confident as I could. I thought we were really good in the first 20 minutes of the game and I think, if we had got a goal, it would have changed the whole game, really.
“It was a shame about the result, but, yes, I was fairly pleased with my performance,” he added.
This is Reid’s first season in professional football after coming up through City’s youth ranks. Earlier this campaign, he enjoyed a successful loan spell with Blue Square Bet side Dorchester Town, for whom he scored five goals in 15 appearances, which gave him a useful insight into the world of competitive men’s football.
“It went really well for me at Dorchester,” Reid said. “It was great for me to play and I was able to play competitive first-team football as well and it was good to be in an environment where you are trying to get three points on the board and stuff like that.
“I came back feeling much more confident and feeling a lot more stronger than I was when I left here.
“My aim now is to break into the first team. I mean, I have never had an experience like this before, and being in and around the first team is good. It is a good experience to be training with these players, playing day in, day out, with the likes of Jamie Cureton is great – and playing at St James’ Park is a great experience as well.
“Jamie is someone I can learn from and, even on the pitch, he was helping me and telling me to relax and hold the ball, take a touch. He is a really good man to play with.”
With Exeter’s wretched home form becoming a real headache for manager Paul Tisdale, Reid may get his chance from the start before too long. He certainly did more during his 33 minutes on the field against Oxford than many of those who started the game did, but, either way, he is happy with the way things are going.
“I don’t think I am ready to play week in, week out,” Reid said. “The manager knows what he is doing and I think what he is doing now is what is best for my development.
“You look at players like Jamie Mackie and Dean Moxey and they are the kind of players that you want to emulate, but I am just taking things as they are at the minute and will try and get in the squad.”
The one surprising thing about Reid, though, was that he also has a soft spot for one of City’s big rivals.
“Ha! I used to live across the road from Plainmoor and I grew up watching Torquay with my grandad,” he said. “I used to go until I was about 13 and it stopped because I joined Exeter. But I am red and white now!”