Williams times it right

GARETH Williams could not have picked a better time to score his first goal for nearly 12 months, following a year of heartache.Front-runner Williams propelled Colchester United into the fourth round of the FA Cup, thanks to a deft header on 72 minutes.

By Carl Marston

GARETH Williams could not have picked a better time to score his first goal for nearly 12 months, following a year of heartache.

Front-runner Williams propelled Colchester United into the fourth round of the FA Cup, thanks to a deft header on 72 minutes. It was enough to send hosts Sheffield United tumbling out of the competition.

The Welshman's last goal had been in the 5-0 thrashing of Walsall on January 25, 2005, one of just five goals that he notched in a stop-start season.


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Ironically, another of those five goals came in last season's third round of the FA Cup, with a clinical strike in the 2-0 success at Hull City on January 8.

“I guess that I must like playing in the third round of the FA Cup. I'd forgotten about that goal at Hull!” admitted super-sub Williams.

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“I'm just glad to get a goal really. I just got the faintest of touches with my head, from Mark Yeates' cross. The ball hit the defender as well, but I'm classing it as my goal because the ball was going in anyway. It was going in the top corner.

“I haven't scored many headers in my career. The only other one that I can recall was against Port Vale on the day that I got my hat-trick (March 1, 2003).

“It was great to score at the end where all our supporters were sitting, because that meant I could celebrate in front of them. I have had a lot of nice comments from the fans in recent months, when things have not always gone my way and I have struggled to get into the side,” added Williams.

Former Crystal Palace striker Williams has only started six games this term, due to the intense competition of places. The likes of Chris Iwelumo, Jamie Cureton (now back at Swindon) and Richard Garcia have been ahead of him in the pecking order.

In fact, there have been times when the 23-year-old has failed to even earn a place on the bench. However, he was named amongst the substitutes on Saturday, and was given his chance when Garcia tweaked his hamstring during the early stages of the second-half.

Williams continued: “Richard (Garcia) is one of the unluckiest players in football. He's such a good player, but has so many injuries to contend with.

“I've been waiting in the wings. I had a small run in the team earlier in the season (three starts on the trot in September), but I've basically had to wait for my chance.

“The manager has been saying to me that this season is not about a team of 11, but about the whole squad of 20. All of us are capable of coming in and doing a good job.

“We all have a lot of confidence in our ability. A few of us have played in some big games at this level, and it's only one division down from my old team Crystal Palace,” concluded Williams.

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