United Women's super-sub strikes again
It’s becoming a bit of a habit to see Rachel Williams pop up in the last minute to score for United.
I have lost count now of how many re-writes I have had to do thanks to our 36-year-old striker, but if she keeps doing what she does best, I will happily go back to the drawing board and start again.
Williams has been in the Women’s Super League for 14 seasons now – one of three players still playing to have reached that achievement – but while some think she may be thinking of slowing down, the striker clearly is not thinking the same.
Already this season Williams has four goals to her name with none coming before the 77th minute.
Her dedication and want to be on the pitch have become vital for a United team who have been struggling to put away their chances.
Following the 2-2 draw with Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday evening, manager Marc Skinner admitted he was disappointed that the side could not put away our shots on goal.
It’s safe to say that Williams is firmly a fans' favourite. From scoring late in the FA Cup to secure a place in the final at Wembley last season, to bagging a goal in injury time to get three points in the bag on the opening day of the campaign against Aston Villa, there is always a sense of relief when you see her number flash up on the fourth official’s board.
The game against Brighton on Bonfire Night was a frustrating affair. It was a cold night – in fact it was definitely the first time I had the thermals out – and despite 23 attempts, the Reds really struggled to have that clinical edge.
Geyse hit the post, Melvine Malard saw one of her attempts superbly saved and everywhere Leah Galton went, Sophie Baggaley seemed to be there.
The sense of frustration was growing on the pitch and in the stands and with ten minutes to go, it was time to change it up. Lucia Garcia and Williams were on in place of Malard and Hinata Miyazawa.
A ripple seemed to go through the crowd as Williams's number was shown. Not just amongst our travelling fans but also throughout the Brighton support. The Seagulls know only too well what Williams brings after being on the end of that late FA Cup goal last season.
However, it looked like the ‘super-sub’ plan was not going to work as just a minute before the end of normal time, Guro Bergsvand popped up and put the hosts ahead for the second time that evening.
The goal seemed to give the Reds that extra push they had been missing and eight minutes into stoppage-time, up pops Williams once again with a dramatic equaliser.
Speaking to MUTV after the game, she said: “It’s becoming a bit of a habit for me.
“It was a tough game, Brighton really made us work. We are united and we will just keep on fighting to make sure we get that point.
“I come on and I try to get in the game as quick as possible. I want the ball, I will get my head on anything.
“I’d already had a header hit the post. I just want to be part of the team and work hard.
“We always have a belief we can get back into it. That’s what is important.”