Luke Williams nets stunner for Hartlepool United on long awaited return v Sheffield United under-23s

The Super 6 Stadium witnessed the closest thing it’s seen to a fairy tale this pre-season as Luke Williams marked his long awaited return with a stunning goal.

Sunday, 21st July 2019, 12:01 am
Updated Sunday, 21st July 2019, 2:51 pm
Luke Williams has a shot with his first touch. Photo: Frank Reid

Pools were leading 3-2 against Sheffield United under-23s when Williams popped up on the edge of the box to curl in a classy fourth goal for the hosts.

The 26-year-old was introduced to a great reception after 63 minutes and almost scored with his first touch before finding the net with his final touch of the game.

And after spending the last year on the sidelines with a serious knee injury, it was a fitting way for Williams to mark his return.

“It was a perfect end to the game for me really,” admitted the attacking-midfielder.

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“I wasn’t too bothered about scoring, I wanted to get on and keep the ball, play well and finish the game really so I could get that ticked off.

“It was nice to get the goal and nice to get it here in my first game back here in front of the home fans who gave me a great reception which I’m really thankful for.”

Despite training since the start of pre-season, Williams has been cautiously held back by manager Craig Hignett before being allowed to return.

“It has been frustrating but looking back it was the right thing to do,” Williams added.

“I’ve had a good pre-season and I haven’t missed any training sessions, the only things I’ve missed is games up to now. We’ve gone about it the right way and I feel good.

“I know I’m lacking game-time myself but that’ll come. That was a good work-out today and hopefully I get some more next weekend.”

And Hignett was understandably pleased to see Williams get on the scoresheet as he commented: “Luke’s been so patient and has had such a frustrating time over the last season and he’s got obvious quality and you can see it, he’s just a really good, clever footballer who makes the game look easy.

“If you give Luke time and space on the edge of the box, that’s what he’ll do to you. He’s done it consistently over pre-season so I’m delighted for him, absolutely delighted.”