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"It's got to be the goal that I scored at Wembley, but running a close second to that would be the play-off semi-final against Oxford United"

Former Grecian Lee Phillips discusses some of his First, Best and Worst moments

21 March 2018

Born in Penzance, Lee Phillips began his career with fellow Devon club, Plymouth Argyle. After departing Home Park in 2001 he joined Weymouth where his impressive goal scoring saw him picked up by City in 2004.

He spent three years with the Grecians, going on to become a fans favourite and scoring at Wembley in the Conference Play-Off Final against Morecambe where City narrowly missed out on promotion.

Following his departure from St James Park in 2007 he went on to represent the likes of Torquay United, Rushden & Diamonds, Cambridge United and Exmouth Town. He spoke to Ben Strange to discuss some of his First, Best and Worst moments.

First...

... appearance in a City shirt?

I think that came against Ebbsfleet United away from home. I scored two in that game, one was a left footed shot in the first half and the other a penalty in the second half. It was a good feeling, I remember being knackered as it was my first game in a higher league, and Glenn Cronin shouting at me and saying: “Come on! You need to score your hat trick now.” I turned around and said: “I’m knackered!” It was a bad way to start by getting in his bad books.

... goal for City?

Of course, the one against Ebbsfleet on my debut, I can’t remember who passed it through, but it came down on my weak foot going up the pitch, which was on a bit of a slant. I connected really well with it from just outside the box and it went into the keeper’s left corner. I was quite surprised myself, being on my weaker foot, because I didn’t score many on that side.

... time you met Tis?

We knew there were rumours that he was coming in and the first time I met him I was with Paul Buckle. Nobody really knew anything about him other than he had come from Team Bath, so we were all a little apprehensive and we didn’t really know much. When he arrived we all spoke with him and he was brilliant. It was a pleasure to work with him.

Best...

... memory of being at City?

It’s got to be the goal that I scored at Wembley but running a close second to that would be the play-off semi-final against Oxford United. That was a massive turning point, I didn’t play in the first leg which we lost, and Paul put faith in me to start the next game. The build-up to the final and the second leg, scoring and having a goal disallowed was a massive thing.

... friend at the club?

I had quite a few, but I’m going to say two in Adam Stansfield and Jon Challinor. I still keep in touch with Jon regularly and Adam, bless his soul, was one of my room mates at City. We did everything together and we were a good group of friends.

... player you played with?

In my career it has to be a legend of mine, Steve Claridge. I played with him at Weymouth, a proper old school centre forward, he was a proper legend. At City, there are a few players, but because I’m a centre forward it has to be between Sean Devine and Steve Flack. You can’t beat those two for the way they were, two City legends.

Worst...

... moment in a City shirt?

Losing at Wembley has to be the worst. I’ve been fortunate enough to have played there three times, but I’ve lost every time. My first appearance there was for City against Morecambe, and even though I scored and came off injured, for us to lose was a very low point in my career.

... half-time rollicking?

I don’t think I have from a manager, but Steve Perryman kicked off at me once. I can’t quite remember what for, but you’ve got to respect Steve. If he gives you a rollicking, then you have to listen and get on with it.

... defeat you’ve been involved in?

The other Wembley appearances, one for Torquay and Cambridge United. In the match for Cambridge we actually played against Torquay which was a bit gutting. It was a blow because I had left them and to lose against them was disappointing.


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