A thrilled and relieved Andy Williams hopes his injury-time winner against Stevenage on Saturday has proved to manager Keith Curle that he’s deserving of a regular starting place in the Cobblers team.
Town were leading 1-0 through Joe Powell’s first-half goal when Williams came off the bench with 20 minutes to go at the Lamex, but Alex Revell’s header seven minutes later appeared to have robbed the visitors of two points.
However, just as the game ticked into six minutes of stoppage-time, Williams showed great tenacity and determination to chase down a long ball and out-battle two defenders before having the composure to lift a deft shot over goalkeeper Paul Farman and into the far corner, sending Cobblers fans behind the goal wild.
“It was a good clearance from David (Buchanan),” said the 32-year-old afterwards. “We actually spoke about it before the game – if you’re going to clear the ball, miss it big because it’ll give the strikers something to chase and that’s exactly what happened.
“Thankfully I got on the end of it and stuck it away. Initially I thought I had mistimed it and I was going to lose the header but the lad I was challenging dropped off and I managed to put pressure on him and force him into a mistake.
“I then galloped through –I think that’s the best way of describing it – and lifted the ball over the oncoming goalkeeper into the corner of the net.
I heard someone say the other day I haven’t scored in 2019 but how many starts have I had? You can read stats however you want. Compared with minutes on the pitch I’ve had I’m quite happy with my goal return.
“I showed a bit of pace and showed I’ve still got it – I like to think at 32 my pace is still there! That’s my eighth goal of the season and I’m pretty happy with that considering the amount of starts I’ve had.”
Despite topping the club’s scoring charts with eight for the campaign, Williams’ last start for the Cobblers came at Cambridge United over a month ago - and it’s clear the lack of game-time has been nagging away at him.
He added: “I heard someone say the other day I haven’t scored in 2019 but how many starts have I had? You can read stats however you want. Compared with minutes on the pitch I’ve had I’m quite happy with my goal return.
“It’s obviously frustrating not to start as much as I would like but when chances come along you have to take them and I’d like to think I did that.
“Possibly I’ll knock on the manager’s door and remind him again but I’ve done that a few times recently so we’ll see what happens next weekend!”