Rachel Williams

Williams: I was over the moon with semi-final winner!

Saturday 13 May 2023 06:00

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to score a late winner for Manchester United?

Well, Reds forward Rachel Williams has been making quite a habit of doing just that this season. 

She cropped up with a huge goal away to Reading earlier in the year, and an even later one in April when her stoppage-time winner sealed a 3-2 win against Brighton in the semi-final of the FA Cup. 

Talking in an interview which first featured in the official matchday programme for last weekend's 3-0 triumph over Tottenham, Williams tells us what was going through her head in the moments before she fired past her namesake Lydia in the Brighton goal, to send us on our way to Wembley, where we'll contest the final with Chelsea on Sunday…

Williams' promise comes true Video

Williams' promise comes true

While watching last season's FA Cup finals at Wembley, Rachel Williams says she made a particular promise to herself...

“As soon as I saw Katie [Zelem] get the ball, I just thought, ‘run!’,” she began.

“I know she can pick a pass from anything so I just started running hoping she’d slip me the ball – and she did.

“The keeper made my decision when she came out. I decided to go outside and curl it round because I thought she might not expect it. To see it go in, I was over the moon.”
Marc Skinner has previously stated that Rachel’s wealth of experience is key for the Reds, and she believes her "calm" nature helps with that. 

“There have been games this year where I am watching, taking note of what I need to do if I am brought on, so having those minutes beforehand, I know what the job is that needs doing. 

“It comes naturally to me to stay calm. If Marc sees that I’m sitting and ready to go, then that’s all I want. I’ll sit there and wait for my moment, and not let the atmosphere or the moments in the game get to me. You have to remain calm in those moments.”

On her late, late goal in the semi-final, she added: “My attitude was, ‘We will not fail, failure is not an option – we’re getting to that final!’ And if you miss [a chance], you move on to the next one. It’s a feeling of never giving up.”
United Women: Our road to Wembley Video

United Women: Our road to Wembley

Watch every goal scored by United Women during this season's FA Cup run, ahead of Sunday's final against Chelsea...

One of our no.28’s objectives for the season was to help the Reds reach the final of this competition, but now she is totally determined to play her part in United's efforts to go one better, and lift the trophy on Sunday.

“I want to enjoy the moment but not let it affect how we perform on the day,” she told us. 

“Whether you start or you’re on the bench and get on, you have to make sure you know your job and you are going to get on with it. We get a lot of energy from each other. I sit there watching the girls knowing that if I’m called upon, then I’m finishing what they started.

“The confidence you get from the management and the players is amazing. There’s this buzz around us at the moment that we can achieve anything we want to achieve, and that is what we have to take into each game.”
Aside from playing at a sold-out Wembley, there’s another thing Rachel is looking forward to on Sunday: seeing our supporters.

“From the moment we get there, and we’ll be there a good few hours before kick-off, they’ll be singing, screaming. We need them, they have been there for us every game and are brilliant. 

“Even players on opposite teams tell us that [our support] is immense. That’s why we like to stay out as much as we can [after home games] because as much as they are there for us, we like to be able to give a little bit back.”