“Reidy has been on quite a ride at Plainmoor and hopefully there is a lot more to come”
Matty Hayward – @MattyHayward96
When I was a youngster and couldn’t sleep, I’d imagine myself running out at Plainmoor – or sometimes at Wembley – in a Torquay United kit. In this situation, I’m playing in a pretty important game – often a play-off semi-final. I’d always run a lot (unrealistic); my hold-up play was tidy (also unrealistic); and I tended to score a disgracefully scrappy goal in the dying seconds (the least realistic of all). The ensuing euphoria seldom helped me sleep, which is why I now listen to Alan Dowson interviews when I’m trying to get forty winks.
I expect many football fans have a similar memory about their youth, although I assume most have loftier aims than a 6/10 performance and nicking one at the end. Here’s the laboured and probably over-romanticised point: kids grow up wanting to play and score for their home team. They almost all fail.
Nobody would want to read about people failing to achieve their dreams, so this article is about someone who had that aim and succeeded. Fifty-one times (and counting). I am, of course, referring to Jamie Reid.
After what, by his standards, would be described as a dry spell (three games without a goal) Reidy fired home his fiftieth and fifty-first goals for his home town club last Saturday. With that brace, Jamie becomes Torquay’s top goal-scorer in the 21st Century and he creeps ever-closer to the top ten of all-time. He’s 23% of the way to being top of that particular tree.
For now, though, it’s time we celebrated his half century. While I would genuinely get a great deal of pleasure from writing about each one (I have watched each of them all back in preparation for this piece and loved every second), I’m not sure any TT readers have the time to wade through an 8,000-word passion project. Instead, in homage to his famous squad number, I’ve picked out what I believe to be his top 19 goals.
Let’s get Reidy to Rumble!
19) St Albans (h) (2nd), 13th Nov 2018, 4-1 W
His second excellent goal in this game, Reidy is passed the ball on the edge of the box and scores an absolutely textbook Reidy goal. One touch to set himself, then lashes the ball into the bottom corner. That type of goal has become so specific to Reidy that I think we need a special name for it. An Absolute Shagging, perhaps. Suggestions welcome.
*9 mins 35 on the highlights
18) Dover (a), 17th August 2019, 2-1 W
Reidy scored a header! His first and only header to date! For that reason alone, this goal makes it in. Wheel away tapping that noggin, Prince, you deserve it.
*3 mins 50 on the highlights
17) Wealdstone (h), 30th March 2019, 3-2 W
Another crucial game in our promotion push. This is probably Reidy’s second best goal genre. Chasing a seemingly lost cause, bullying a defender and sliding the ball past a hopeless and hapless ‘keeper. A thing of absolute beauty.
*4 mins 35 on the highlights
16) St Albans (h) (1st), 13th November 2018, 4-1 W
Again. He takes a good touch and strokes the ball into bottom corner. Delightful stuff.
*22 seconds in on clip below
15) Harrogate (h), 7th September 2019, 4-2 W
This time, wait for it, Reidy collects the ball, takes a touch and rifles it into the corner. Gets in at 15 because it’s a pretty nice team goal too.
*11 mins 21 on the highlights
14) Chelmsford (h), 2nd April 2019, 3-1 W
All he had to do here, was tap it in. But the run and cross from Keating to put the ball on Jamie’s plate was sensational and this victory put the Gulls seven points clear of Woking before our trip to the Laithwaite Community Stadium. Coming after a penalty miss too, this goal was absolutely crucial for our season and for Reidy.
*7 mins 20 on the highlights
13) Woking (h), 29th September 2018, 2-2 D
After going into the break two down, it was time for our goal-scoring king to show us what he was made of. So what did he do? Score his first ever brace in yellow, topped off by this beauty from a tight angle. Also gives it the biggun with his celebration which you love to see.
*7 mins 55 on the highlights
12) Hartlepool (h), 31st August 2019, 1-2 L
Reidy finishes off a lovely team goal here, with a brilliant finish from the edge of the box into the top corner. Torquay have only lost three games in which Reidy has scored, this being the most recent (others are Bath away and Weston-Super-Mare at home).
*7 mins 20 on the highlights
11) Eastbourne (a), 13th October 2018, 4-2 W
Reidy’s 19th goal in a yellow shirt sealed his first career hat-trick. This, a brilliant run towards the corner of the area and a belting finish to seal the game. This was part of a run that saw him score nine in Gary Johnson’s first six games.
*7 mins 40 on the highlights
10) Billericay (a), 9th March 2019, 2-0 W
There was nothing Glenn Tamplin or his son could do to stop this one. A lovely bit of dribbling, turn, and caressed finish into the bottom corner. More shithousery with the celebration, too.
*10 mins 5 on the highlights
9) Truro (“a”) 2, 1st January 2019, 3-1 W
Reidy saw in the new year with two absolutely barnstorming goals. This, the second. Guess where he scored it from…
*11 mins 20 on the highlights
8) Woking (a), 6th April 2019, 3-3 D
Arguably his most important goal in yellow? After going one down, we really needed to bounce back quickly and that’s exactly what we did. A pre-getting-the-poo-kicked-out-of-him Ruairi Keating pulled a filthy pass out of the bag. Two touches later, ‘The Shagger’ has levelled the scoring with a gorgeous slipped finish.
*2 mins 52 on the highlights
7) Ebbsfleet (a), 24th October 2017, 1-0 W
I was sitting on a bus when this went in and I let out an almighty roar when I saw the Twitter notification. Little did I know, then, that this goal was also an absolute worldie. The first example of the Touch-Set-Curl-Into-Corner goal we saw from Reidy, proving once and for all that Gary Owers’ side weren’t “rubbish anymore”.
*4 mins 59 on the highlights
6) Truro (“a”) 1, 1st January 2019, 3-1 W
The other belter from New Year’s Day, this time Jamie plucked it out of the air and drilled a bobbling ball past a helpless (and short) goalkeeper. That’ll show those pasty-chompers to stop ruining our pitch.
*5 mins 5 on the highlights
5) Dartford (a), 4th December 2018, 2-0 W
This game was one of many tricky away fixtures in December. A few wins would cement us as proper title challengers. We won every league match that month. This goal was huge. At a time where The Darts were pushing for a late equaliser, The Prince of Park Lane took the game by the scruff of the neck, turned his defender and lashed the ball into the bottom corner from 25 yards. A sensational goal at a crucial time.
*7 mins 25 on the highlights
4) Stockport (a), 28th September 2019, 4-0 W
The idea for this piece is three weeks old. It was pitched when Reidy scored his 49th goal and, lo and behold, our Jamie goes on to have a three-game goalless run. Also, annoyingly, this ridiculous goal wasn’t even his 50th – ironically, he saved that for a penalty. Reid’s fifty-first goal will go down as one of the best of the season, though. Picking the pockets of the Stockport midfielder and charging between two centre backs before slipping it past the goalkeeper. Unbelievable scenes.
3) Boreham Wood (h), 3rd August 2019, 2-1 W
Can Reidy do it in the National League? That was one of the most pressing questions on the lips of Torquay fans. So what does he do? Picks the ball up outside the box. Touch. Set. Bang. Top bin. Pick that out. An absolute screamer.
*5 mins 32 on the highlights
2) Concord Rangers (h), 17th November 2018, 4-1 W
Picture the scene, if you will. It’s a grey November afternoon at Plainmoor. United are running away with the game, again, this time against Concord Rangers. Connor Lemonheigh-Evans, roaming around midfield as usual, zips a ball into Jamie about forty yards from goal. The Torquay Boy lifts his head and unleashes an unbelievable strike. He had absolutely no right to shoot from there, no right to hit the target and certainly no right to score. If anything, it was rude. Uncouth. Impolite.
*10 mins 50 on the highlights
1) Aldershot (h), 31st August 2019, 2-0 W
By this time, Reidy was starting to convince most Torquay fans that he was good enough to score goals at this level. But now was time to convince the nation, silence the doubters, show off in front of former gaffer Chris Hargreaves. What I’m trying to say is the Gulls were on the telly. I don’t think even Reidy’s biggest fans (his mum, his girlfriend, me) thought he had this sort of goal in the locker. This was, in a way, a classic Reidy goal. But it came after a sensational and mildly pornographic piece of control. To take the ball out of the air like that and bamboozle a defender with a filthy turn at the same time is simply ridiculous and the final finish was something of sheer beauty too. That is in the top three goals I’ve ever seen scored at Plainmoor, and if you tell me it was a fluke then I’ll get Gary Owers to tell you about his FA Cup final experience.
*8 mins 40 on the highlights
So there you have it. From scoring a tidy finish at home to Dover in the summer of 2016, Reidy has been on quite a ride at Plainmoor and hopefully there is a lot more to come. Fifty-one goals, of which eight were penalties (from 13, I think!), one was a header, and approximately 95% were good touch and finishes from the edge of the box.
I’m going to keep my database of Reidy goals going in case I’m asked to write an article for his 100th goal next March! Shagger.