Match-winner Williams hails van Veen impact and hopes late winner will spark goal glut

Off the mark at last... Picture: Kirsty Edmonds
Off the mark at last... Picture: Kirsty Edmonds

Relief was the overriding emotion for Cobblers’ man of the moment Andy Williams who now wants Saturday’s injury-time winner over Forest Green Rovers to spark a goal glut for himself after admitting it took a ‘massive weight’ off his shoulders.

After scoring 50 goals across three seasons between 2014 and 2017, Williams has experienced a tough couple of campaigns with injury and poor form blighting his career at Doncaster Rovers and now Northampton.

I got mobbed a bit but I always dedicate my goals to my wife and my kids so I kissed my ring and my thumb for the boys and I just about managed to squeeze that in before about 30 people jumped on me, half of whom I didn’t know!

The 32-year-old scored just once for Rovers last term and hoped for better things when switching to Town over the summer, but he failed to net in 12 appearances before Saturday, finding himself in and out of the side under previous manager Dean Austin.

Williams has started all three league games since the appointment of Keith Curle, however, and he finally broke his duck in dramatic circumstances on Saturday, popping up in the sixth minute of injury-time to convert Kevin van Veen’s cross and hand the Cobblers a sensational 2-1 victory over Forest Green.

“He was planning on putting it more in front of me but thankfully I was able to get enough of my left foot on it and wrap my foot around the ball,” he explained afterwards.

“I was a bit concerned that I didn’t put in the corner but the goalkeeper wasn’t in the middle of his goal and the ball hit the back of the net, and then all hell broke loose in the stadium!

“I got mobbed a bit but I always dedicate my goals to my wife and my kids so I kissed my ring and my thumb for the boys and I just about managed to squeeze that in before about 30 people jumped on me, half of whom I didn’t know!”

With the Cobblers short on goals and points, and Williams regularly leading the line in Curle’s preferred 3-5-2 formation, the Town forward will be desperate not to wait as long for his next goal.

He added: “I’ve never gone to a new club and taken this long to score before. I think my worst run was nine games when at Swindon but I went on a massive run after that so I’m hoping history repeats itself and I go on a run between now and the end of the season and catch up on the goals I’ve missed out.

“It was a massive weight lifted off my shoulders and it was a great way to get it - the scenes at the end were brilliant.”

While Williams took the plaudits for scoring, much of the credit belonged to the excellent work of van Veen who robbed a Rovers defender of possession and then put it on a plate for his striker partner to score.

“Kev did brilliantly,” continued Williams. “He’s one of the players who’s benefited massively since the gaffer’s come in. His work-rate has doubled in general play and he’s closing defenders down.

“He’s done it before but he did brilliantly for me on Saturday and I also think he earned the corner that we scored from so he’s come on and really made an impact.

“He’s a good man but I can see that, to manage him, it can be a bit tricky, but there’s a great player under there somewhere and if we can get that out of him, it’ll really benefit the team.”