While strikers might dominate the headlines for their goal-scoring exploits, if you don’t concede, you can’t lose.
It’s a philosophy that Lydia Williams lives by as the guardian of the City goal; and a duty which the Matildas shot-stopper carried out with dedication during Friday’s tense 1-0 Melbourne Derby win at AAMI Park.
While Rebekah Stott’s 82nd-minute winner was a deserved reward for a dominant performance which yielded copious amounts of possession, it was City’s steely resolve in defence which ultimately secured a morale-boosting win for Patrick Kisnorbo’s side.
A winning side always requires somebody to prevent the goals from going in, and City has one of the league’s safest pair of hands in Williams. Her flying save to deny Ga Eul Jeon’s header was as equally stunning as it was crucial, preventing Victory changing the complexion of the match with the opening goal.
It was a welcome return to action for City’s number one, who is relishing the task of taking on the unbeaten Newcastle Jets in front of the home faithful in Sunday’s double header.
“It feels good to be back, especially coming off a win in the Derby,” Williams said. “It’s always nice to get the three points against Victory and it was a hard-fought win, a great goal and fantastic support from the fans.
“To be playing in another double-header is great. We love playing at AAMI Park alongside the Men’s team and enjoy having the support in the stands for both matches.”
“It’s going to be a tough game against Newcastle; they’re undefeated at the moment so it’s important for us to go out there and put in another good performance.”
A first clean sheet of the season was pleasing for Williams, especially given the fact her side had to grind and graft for the result against a Victory outfit determined to defend deep and absorb pressure.
“It was definitely important [to get the three points]. We had a lot of possession during the game but [Victory] had a lot of chances as well.”
“When teams sit off and you have to break them down it can be very difficult. We were struggling to get in behind and create those chances, but thankfully Stotty made that run and got on the end of that cross.
“To keep that clean sheet and score when we didn’t have that many chances is a good indication of our ability to grind out matches.”
Sunday’s double-header carries added significance as part of Remembrance Round, which will see the Club remember and acknowledge the service men and women who sacrificed their lives during time of conflict.
Williams paid her respects in a special visit to the Shrine of Remembrance on Wednesday alongside teammate Alanna Kennedy and A-League counterparts Eugene Galekovic and Nick Fitzgerald.
It was her first visit to the Shrine, and one she hopes will help raise further awareness for Remembrance Day.
“Visiting the Shrine of Remembrance was an amazing experience,” she said. “It’s important to recognise all the sacrifices made by everyone who has served for our country.
“It will be a proud moment for us as players on Sunday and it is going to be a special day.”
Don't miss Sunday's double header! Our Women's team are in action against Newcastle Jets at 4:30pm, before our Men's team take on Western Sydney Wanderers at 7pm. Click here to get your tickets for our double header!