Defender Matty Williams has experienced the highs and lows of Accrington Stanley’s FA Youth Cup campaign so far – and wants more success.
Stanley’s U18s take on Premier League Liverpool at St Helen’s Rugby Club on Monday (KO 7pm) in the Fourth Round – a game which has to be finished on the night with extra-time and penalties a possibility.
Matty, 18, was sent off in what he described as a ‘nightmare’ in the Second Round clash with Notts County but then cleared a ball off the line against Leeds United in the Third Round as the Reds secured an extra-time win.
“It’s been a great run so far,” said Matty, who came to Stanley aged 16 after being at Wigan Athletic from aged 12-15.
“We beat Tranmere in the First Round, it was a game we dominated. We were 1-0 up and then they went down to 10-men and we scored from the free kick following the sending off and saw the game out comfortably.
“Notts County was a nightmare for me. It was a moment of madness. There was only around 30 minutes gone, we were 1-0 up and I got caught in two minds and made the wrong decision and was sent off.
“Luckily Lewis Gilboy scored two goals and dragged me out of a hole as we won 2-1. All the lads were great after and told me to keep my head up but it was hard at the time.
“Leeds was a great game, they were strong but we started off quickly and were 2-0 up within 10 minutes. They then came back into it and at 2-2 it could have gone either way and I had to clear one effort off the line.
“Once it went into extra-time, we pushed on and ended up winning 4-2. We showed great determination.
“It’s a great achievement getting into the Fourth Round and we know what we can do if we dig in. ”
Playing Liverpool is extra special for Matty.
“I live in Maghull and am a Liverpool fan so it’s a dream for me. It would have been better playing at Anfield but we are all still buzzing.
“They have players who have played for England but we know we just have to neutralise their threat early on.
“We have good players in Lewis Gilboy, Alex O’Neil, winger Charlie Ridge and Harry Perritt has scored a couple of goals.
“We have players who can turn a game and we are all excited about the game – my family and friends are coming so that adds to the pressure!”
Head of Academy Paul Lodge said: “We are really excited and I am proud of the lads for getting so far. It will be a tough game but they have all been tough so far and we have done well.
“I just want the lads to go out and enjoy it, make the most of it and not leave anything behind.”
Tickets can be purchased on the night, priced at £3 for adults and £1 for concessions.