29 April 2012
Liverpool Ladies FC Assistant Manager Andy Williams was celebrating last night as his England U18 Schoolboys side regained the Centenary Shield for the first time since 2009.
In a dramatic conclusion to this year's competition England won a nail-biting encounter against the Republic of Ireland at Brighton's Amex Stadium 2-1. It capped a sensational turn around in fortunes for the England side; having lost their opening game in the competition to Wales 1-0, the young lions then went on to win three in a row beating Northern Ireland 4-0, Scotland 2-0 and then the Republic of Ireland.
Having weathered the early onslaught England settled into the game and hit the Republic with two quick-fire goals just before half time to go into the interval 2-0 up. Ireland struggled to break down a resolute England defence during the second half but were rewarded with fifteen minutes remaining with a headed goal from a long throw-in. This set up a tense finale with Republic hitting the woodwork twice. With over seven minutes of injury time played, England held out to record a historic victory, beating Wales into second place and the Republic into third.
Victory last night marked a fitting end of Andy's four year stint with the schoolboy's, he completed two years as the Assistant Manager and then two as the Manager, a four year stint that saw him lift the shield twice. Andy will now gracefully retire from the international scene and return to his duties coaching the Liverpool Ladies and concentrating on his Headteacher duties at Moorfield Primary School in Widnes.
Photo courtesy of RWT Photography