12:00PM, Friday 10 May 2019
It was a case of experience overcoming youth on Monday as Slough Town beat Reading Academy 3-1 in the final of the Berks and Bucks Senior Cup, thanks to goals from Sam Togwell, Manny Williams and Josh Jackman.
Williams played a staring role in the win, holding his nerve from the penalty spot for the second goal of the game, before working tirelessly in the second half to hold the ball up for his team and win the ball back high up the pitch.
It was an emotional day for the Rebels forward, after one of his students, Sam Hanson sadly passed away last month. The Slough players all wore specially designed tops during the warm up as well both sets of teams and fans joining in a minute applause before the game. Williams, a teacher at the Chorley Wood based school admitted it had been a tough time over the last few weeks, but that the victory was a ‘light at the end of the tunnel’.
“Yeah it was topsy-turvy, a bit of a rollercoaster and not the best of times over the last four five weeks,” said Williams.
“ [it is] a little light at the end of the tunnel I suppose - a bit of positivity after really tough time, so really pleased to get the win and the trophy for many a reason.”
The 37-year-old was on the spot with his penalty kick, tucking it brilliantly into the corner past the diving Myles Roberts in goal and Williams admitted penalties are something he spend a lot of time on.
“With pens I’m constantly practicing,” added Williams.
“After our training sessions I stay around 10/15 minutes and that’s all I do really.”
Williams had to use every bit of experience in his arsenal in the second half as he was tasked with defending from the front and the forward was pleased with his and the side’s efforts.
“The boys dug deep,” added Williams
“We knew after the season we’ve had – a great season, but a bit disappointed not to make play-offs and we knew we had one chance to make it right. Everyone dug in.
“I just wanted to do as much as I could for the team – after 65 minutes the old legs were going a bit but you know you don’t give up.”
“They were going to be fitter than us, more energetic, I thought they were going to be hungrier than us as well but I don’t think they were. I thought only four or five of them looked hungry, you know really wanted to win the cup final. I think the rest of them turned up and thought they could stroke the ball around and when you play against a men’s team it’s not as easy.”
With the season now over Williams is looking forward to the break, but already has targets to aim for the coming campaign.
“I think we are looking forward to the summer,” said Williams
“As a team, play-offs is a minimum target, if we can better that then we do, but playoffs is a minimum target for next season.
“We will keep working together – great bunch of lads to play with, still grateful at my age with a fantastic bunch of boys and for a great club. I am very fortunate to be playing at Slough Town, from the managers to the players to the backroom staff to fans, it’s fantastic to be here.”
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