Exeter City striker Robbie Simpson thanked the supporters at Taunton Town on Thursday night for giving him such a warm reception as he played his first minutes for the club since suffering a broken leg and fractured ankle in a 2-2 draw with Blackpool on February 25.
Robbie came on for the last half an hour of the pre-season friendly at the Viridor Stadium and went close to finding the back of the net minutes after entering the fray.
And, the 32-year-old former Cambridge United and Huddersfield striker, said it was heart-warming the reception he got from a boisterous away following behind the goal.
“The support tonight – when they saw me come out to warm up – was quite humbling,” said Robbie, who also added that he had plenty of other people to thank.
“I have to thank Tis for giving me some minutes,” he said. “I have only really had two full training sessions with the lads on Monday and Tuesday. I was quite sore on Wednesday so I couldn’t train then. So then to train Thursday morning and then play in the evening is really, really pleasing.
“So, thank you Tis, to my surgeon and Ade (Saunderson) the physio here, my family and then no more so than to my teammates who have been incredible with me. They have been really supportive. To be back out on that pitch – because when you do get that kind of injury at 32 you do fear the worse – was brilliant.”
City won the match 3-0 with goals from Tyler Harvey, Liam McAlinden and Ryan Brunt. Tyler and Ryan are both on trial at City during pre-season while right-back Jack Barthram is also looking to impress the manager in a bid to earn a contract at the club.
“I thought Tyler took his goal really well and he has been training really well,” said Robbie. “Brunty started pre-season with me because he has had his injury troubles as well, so I am really pleased for him to not only get a good amount of minutes in but to also get a goal. And then young Jack is just steady all the way. He does his job and I’m sure Tis will be making a decision on him soon. The trialists always try and impress and I think all three of them have done themselves no harm tonight.”