WOODLEY United manager Jamie Williams said that the Kestrels 1-1 draw on Monday night was the ‘most impressive’ performance of their season.
After going a goal up through Max Lashok early in the match, the Kestrels were dealt a blow with a significant couple of minutes in the match as Abingdon United equalised, quickly followed by a red card to Woodley’s Whight.
The Kestrels displayed an immense amount of defensive resilience to hold the side who are second in the Hellenic League Division One East to a draw at Scowers Lane, despite playing nearly an hour with one less player.
“Monday night is my favourite result so far,” said Williams.
“To play with 10 men for 65 minutes against a really good team and to have chances towards the end, the boys were even a little bit disappointed that they didn;t win the game, it was an unbelievable effort.
“Before the game if you had offered me a point against the side second in the table, I would have snapped your arm off. I don’t think that we can feel disappointed to get just a point considering we played for so long with 10 players.”
The Kestrels upturn in form saw them end the year with an impressive 3-1 away win at Marlow United, before Monday night’s point saw them move out of the relegation places above Langley into 15th.
“The 3-1 away win at Marlow may have looked like a comfortable result, but my goalkeeper was man of the match on the day..
Woodley have had the added bonus of Wycombe Wanderers manager Gareth Ainsworth being involved in a playing capacity which has coincided with their much improved form.
“Gareth brings an incredible amount of experience to the team,” continued Williams.
“It’s not a coincidence that we won at Marlow and got a draw on Monday with Gareth in the team.
“He helps everyone, and his fitness levels at 47 are unbelievable. He played 90 minutes on Monday and never stopped tracking back and working, so if he’s doing that, then there’s no excuse for anyone else not to be doing the same.
“His managerial record is phenomenal, to have him around for my own selfish reasons is great. I try not to ask him a million questions, but he does help me and we are so lucky to have him.”
The Kestrels look to continue their run of good results next Monday evening with a home fixture against Didcot Town Development.
“It’s a cliche, but there are no easy games in the division. It will be difficult to get something, but the boys are bouncing off the wall. We’re going into it in a good position but it won’t be easy for us.”