Sam Williams was a bit of an unlikely hero for Tamworth FC as they snatched victory in the final seconds of their FFA Cup third round clash with North Companions.
The FC players were still celebrating Williams’ 90th minute strike, which put them in ahead for the first time in the match, when the full-time whistle was blown.
New recruit Jackson Haussler made the initial break down FC’s left hand side, before finding Williams surging through the middle, and he did the rest.
“He [Williams] is generally a back. We sent him on and got him to play up front and stay up front,” FC coach Greg Bartlett said.
FC had looked the more likely to score dominating possession and territory in the latter stages.
“I knew it would be a tough game because they seem to lift against us and they’ve had the wood on us for 18 months,” Bartlett said.
The most pleasing part of the performance from his perspective was that they played for the full 90 minutes, although he conceded a draw probably would have been a fairer indication of the game.
That being said he was happy to take the win.
“You take a win when you get a win because sometimes you deserve a win and you don’t so we’ll take that,” he said.
The second game of the season for both sides, he spoke leading in about the hard work they had put in during the pre-season. It paid dividends, Bartlett highlighting their fitness as one of the big differences between Saturday and their previous clashes with Companions.
“We’ve been training since the middle of January, which has really helped us, especially being hot like it was today,” he said.
After a scoreless first half, although both sides had their chances and near misses, North Companions hit the front early in the second half though Nick Bowden.
They had a couple of good opportunities to 2-nil up but couldn’t take them.
At the other end FC were also having problems finding the back of the net. New recruit Masi Mobin fired wide after being set up with a one-on-one with the keeper. Another time they hit the post, the sound reverberating right the way up the field.
Eventually the pressure told, Hayden Davidson putting them on level terms with just under 15 minutes to go.
Bartlett was reluctant to single anyone out.
“Everybody stood up and they all contributed,” he said.
Despite the disappointing manor of the defeat, Companions coach Gavin Thompson appeared fairly non-plussed by the result.
“Certainly they were hungrier than us,” Thompson said.
“(But) I’m really pleased the way we went. To be at that level at this time of the year is pleasing,” he said.
He admittedly thought they were in for an “absolute belting”.
“We’re only going to improve with fitness, cohesion and a bit more ball play,” he said.
He was again impressed with Finn Carter.
“He had a great game at right fullback,” he said.
“He’s got all the attributes of a good player.”
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