ARGYLE forwards Jake Jervis and Ryan Brunt have scored six times between them in the Pilgrims’ opening two pre-season victories...
...but arguably it was the brief sight of a striker who failed to hit the target which has lifted the Green Army the most.
Jake followed up Ryan’s earlier double in the 4-2 win at Elburton with a pair that underpinned a 3-1 triumph at Bideford, netting the second from an 85th-minute penalty which he took despite the presence on-field at the Sports Ground of regular spot-kick man Reuben Reid.
Argyle’s leading scorer for the past two seasons was making his first appearance since a delayed foot operation carried out in the immediate wake of the Pilgrims’ Sky Bet League 2 play-off defeat by Wycombe in mid May.
Reuben, 27 next week, had played through discomfort for most of the second half of last season and had not been expected to play an active part so early in the build-up to the new campaign.
“It was nice to be back on the football pitch with no pain,” said Reuben. “That was the first thing. Also getting the confidence back, running, trying to sprint – I’ve come a long way in a short space of time.
“The schedule was that I was probably going to start running yesterday, but I came back for pre-season and have done all the running bar one day, when I had to see the specialist. It’s been good news. He was surprised at my progress and I thought, for my own confidence and peace of mind, I needed to get out there as much as I can and prepare for the start of the season.
“I’ve been involved in everything apart from the first week, when I didn’t get involved in the contact stuff. I just need to try and get into the team now.”
Thankfully, Reuben reported no problems after nearly half-an-hour’s run-out in North Devon.
He said: “I’ve had an operation so it’s not going to be how it was before. I have some good days and bad days with it. Thankfully, for the time being, there has been a lot more good than bad but, like the specialist said, it’s going to take some time for everything to get back to normal.
“I’m in a better position than I was at Christmas; there’s no pain – that’s the best thing.”