Wednesday 21 Feb
Updated Wednesday 21 Feb 06:30
Interviews

Reid happy with vital goalscoring habit

Winston Reid scores his first goal for West Ham United against Burnley in 2011

 

It is seven years to the day since Winston Reid netted his first goal in a West Ham United shirt.

The New Zealand defender, signed the previous summer from Danish club Midtjylland for a bargain £3.5m, powered home a near-post header to put the Hammers 4-0 up and on course for a thumping FA Cup fifth round win over Burnley.

And Reid, who has netted in each of his opening seven seasons in Claret and Blue and has ten goals to his name in total, recalls that night under the Boleyn Ground floodlights as if it was yesterday.

It was before I knew Ginge (James Collins), but it was a Ginge-esque header

Winston Reid

“Of course, I remember it, even though it was seven long years ago!” he smiled, when asked for his memories of a tie which was a rare highlight of an otherwise difficult season for both defender and Club. “It was an FA Cup tie and we ended up winning 5-1, so it was good and I’ll never forget my first goal for the Club.

“It was before I knew Ginge (James Collins), but it was a Ginge-esque header, getting ahead of my marker at the near post, getting a good connection and, luckily enough, hitting the back of the net.

“That season obviously wasn’t ideal for any of us as we ended up getting relegated, but it was my first season with West Ham and I ended up playing 12 games. In different circumstances, it wouldn’t have been too bad, but it didn’t turn out how anyone would have hoped.”

 

Winston Reid celebrates scoring the winner against Millwall at the Boleyn Ground in February 2012
Winston Reid celebrates scoring the winner against Millwall at the Boleyn Ground in February 2012

 

While Reid’s first goal in Claret and Blue was memorable, it was not decisive, as West Ham were already well on the way to victory when he scored it. However, he has since forged a reputation for netting at important times.

A thumping winner for the ten-man Hammers against Millwall in February 2012, the opener in a 3-0 Premier League victory at Tottenham Hotspur in October 2013 and the unforgettable late header which secured a 3-2 win over Manchester United in the final game at the Boleyn Ground in May 2016, a last-gasp strike to see off Sunderland at London Stadium in October of the same year – all of them were scored by the popular No2.

When that list is recounted to Reid, the defender cannot help but smile.

 

Kevin Nolan did his best to stop the defender scoring at White Hart Lane in October 2013!
Kevin Nolan did his best to stop the defender scoring at White Hart Lane in October 2013!

 

“I suppose I do have a habit for it, now you mention it! When the opportunities come, it’s just a case that you have to try and do the right thing, I guess, and I have thoroughly enjoyed all my goals, as I don’t score too many of them!

“The Millwall goal was fantastic. The only disappointing thing was that there were no West Ham fans behind the goal because the Millwall fans were in the upper tier. I remember Kev Nolan had been sent-off after ten minutes – our third game in a row when we had someone red carded – so my lungs were burning!

“For the Tottenham one, Kev always used to stand on the line and nick goals, and that time he tried to nick one off me and it hit him on the shin. He was good at it, mind, but not that time. Luckily enough, it came back to me and I scored!

“Obviously, I’ll never forget the Man United goal. That was just a moment of sheer emotion after that header went in. What a night that was.

“The Sunderland one, I gave it a chop and smashed it in the bottom corner. I used to play up front when I was kid from the ages of six to ten back in New Zealand, but they moved me back to midfield, then quickly realised I wasn’t the best runner, so I went into defence.”