Ward salutes Williams return

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Football News

Colchester boss John Ward hailed the return to fitness and form of keeper Ben Williams after the stopper made a brilliant save to help earn the Us a goalless draw at Huddersfield.

Williams, who was player of the year last season, missed the start of the current campaign due to injury and has been playing catch-up ever since but the former Manchester United trainee made a great save to parry a close-range bullet header from Huddersfield's Jamie McCombe.

"He was great for us last year, but it's been difficult for him to get up to that standard again because he missed pre-season and the first 10 or 12 games," Ward said. "But he's played really well in the last couple of matches and it's a real confidence booster for him and the team because I'm working with a back four that wouldn't necessarily be my first choice.''

On Colchester's rearguard action Ward said: "The players have answered a big question. I wanted to know how they would be able to stand up to a quick and strong Huddersfield side.

"We had to be switched on from 10 seconds after three o'clock and concentrate for the whole game because they kept coming at us. I thought we were a bit too careful in the first half but after the break we really dug in.

"Both sides had chances and we could have won it near the end. It might have been 0-0, but it could have been 3-3 and the sort of game people rave about.''

Huddersfield manager Lee Clark was frustrated by the draw but happy with his team's overall performance following a 4-0 mauling at Carlisle in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy in midweek.

He said: "You always want to win your home games. But John's an experienced manager and he set his stall out really well.

"There were chances at both ends and when our keeper Ian Bennett had to make two great saves near the end I'd settle for a 0-0.

"It was important that we got back on track. The players showed great courage and determination. We also kept a clean sheet and are unbeaten in five games in the league now. We're third in the table and there's much to be positive about.''

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Colchester United
Jamie McCombe
Ben Williams
League One
Huddersfield Town
Manchester United
Carlisle United
Ian Bennett

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