Fleetwood forward Reid living the dream after Whitby woe
It was a grey December day and Alex Reid trudged off at Rushall believing his non-league career was over '“let alone his dreams of a professional deal '“ after missing two penalties against Whitby.
To spare his blushes, the second was bundled home on the rebound by Stanley Mugisha to ensure Rushall won 1-0 in the Northern Premier Division.
Fast forward a year and Reid was celebrating scoring his first goal for Fleetwood Town in their 2-0 Checkatrade Trophy win over League Two side Chesterfield.
It was his first competitive strike for Town, 11 months after making the leap from non-league.
However, the January signing was brought back down to earth by a text from his mum reminding him of that day against Whitby and just how far he had come.
Reflecting on his fairytale rise, Reid said: “This time last year I missed two penalties for Rushall. I thought it was the end of the world.
“I thought I was never going to play for Rushall again, never mind anyone else!
“Where I have come from, playing in front of crowds of 10, to playing in a big stadium for a massive club in League One is unbelievable.”
What he perhaps will not tell the grandkids in years to come is that this week’s milestone goal was scored past a defender who had been forced to pull on the keeper’s jersey after the Spireites’ Lytham-born number one Joe Anyon had injured an arm.
That takes nothing away from Reid’s 89th-minute strike, one that would have beaten most established shot-stoppers.
And the forward says it was one of his development squad pals, Nathan Sheron, who urged him to grab the opportunity.
Reid (left) said: “Shez told me to test the keeper as soon as I got a chance, to get the shot on target and see what he is made of because there was a centre-back in goal and we had to test him early.
“Ash Hunter got the ball to me and I just thought, ‘I’m gonna hit it as hard as I can’. I did and it went in.”
Though that goal will not force him into Uwe Rosler’s starting 11 tomorrow, the injury to Ashley Nadesan that paved the way for Reid to play on Tuesday may again see him claim a spot on the bench against league leaders Wigan at the DW Stadium.
Reid said: “Hopefully I can only keep learning, keep training hard and keep working on the things I need to work on, and trying to put the ball in the back of the net.
“I’m thankful to the gaffer for giving me a chance and putting me on the pitch.
“I’m just overwhelmed by it all.”