Ben Williamson (footballer)
|Full name||Benjamin Marc Williamson|
|Date of birth||25 December 1988|
|Place of birth||Lambeth, London, England|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|2011–2012||→ Port Vale (loan)||35||(3)|
|2015–2016||→ Cambridge United (loan)||8||(3)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 00:00, 15 May 2019 (BST)|
He played for Worthing in 2009, before joining the Glenn Hoddle Academy in Spain the following year, where he had a spell with the academy's partner club, Jerez Industrial. In 2011, he returned to England to join Bournemouth, where he featured in the south-coast club's play-off semi final against Huddersfield Town. He joined Port Vale on a season-long loan from Hyde in June 2011, which was made permanent the following year. He helped the club to secure promotion out of League Two in 2012–13. He moved to Gillingham in June 2015, and then signed with Cambridge United in January 2016 following a brief loan spell. He joined Eastleigh in August 2017.
Born in London, Williamson played youth football for Millwall and Croydon Athletic, before signing for Worthing of the Isthmian League Division One South in August 2009. In November 2009, Williamson attended a four-week trial at the Glenn Hoddle Academy. He was invited to the Academy partly by chance, as Academy scouts had been watching Worthing teammate Ross Treleaven when Williamson scored a hat-trick and unwittingly alerted them to his potential.
The Glenn Hoddle Academy
He signed a two-year contract with the academy in the summer of 2010, and was selected to play for nearby Spanish side Jerez Industrial following the academy's takeover of the club. During the first half of the 2010–11 season, he played twelve games for the club, scoring eight goals. After he left the club, Jerez struggled, and suffered relegation at the end of the season. Back at the Academy, Glenn Hoddle focused on improving Williamson's technique, especially in his left foot.
On 31 January 2011, he joined League One club Bournemouth on a deal lasting until the end of the season. He made his debut on 5 February, appearing as an injury time substitute in a 1–1 draw with Leyton Orient. An ankle injury restricted him to just four further substitute appearances, including a brief appearance in the club's play-off semi-final draw with Huddersfield Town, coming on in the last minute replacing Danny Ings.
Hyde to Port Vale
In June 2011 he turned down a new deal at Bournemouth as manager Lee Bradbury could not guarantee regular first team football. He joined Conference North outfit Hyde, but was loaned out to Micky Adams' Port Vale in League Two on a season long loan.
Burslem is a bit different to Bournemouth, never mind south-west Spain ... I still haven't found the beach. I had only been north of Birmingham once before, going to Manchester when I was about seven. But I'm 22, hungry for regular football, pleased to be here and ready to prove myself... The physical side doesn't faze me. I'm pretty quick, try to get in behind the defence and like to run at people with the ball... If I could take my ratio with Jerez into this year I'd end up with 30-odd goals – now that would do.— Williamson on signing for Port Vale.
He got off the mark with his first Football League goals on 17 September, as he 'displayed athleticism, composure, bravery and a poacher's instinct' to score with a lob and then a header in a 3–2 home defeat to Shrewsbury Town. He made six starts and eight substitute appearances in the club's first fifteen games of the season. However, he damaged his knee in a reserve game at Derby County on 31 October, and was sidelined for several weeks. Vale failed to score a single goal in the five matches that he missed, though he had to wait until boxing day before he made his return to first team action. A stoppage time strike against Oxford United seconds before the end of the 2011–12 season gave Williamson a tally of three goals in 35 league games (12 starts and 23 substitute appearances). He signed a new one-year contract with the club in May 2012.
He began the 2012–13 season making regular appearances from the bench, and his tendency to score important goals led to him being labelled as a "super-sub". He was favoured ahead of Louis Dodds for the first time against Northampton Town on 27 October, but was taken off for tactical reasons early into the match after defender John McCombe was sent off. He then returned to bench duty, and sealed his super-sub status with the winning goal against Forest Green Rovers in the First Round of the FA Cup. He then scored two goals in two starts at the end of November. However the arrival of Lee Hughes in the January transfer window meant that competition to partner the league's top-goalscorer in Tom Pope was fierce, and Williamson was mainly used as an impact player. He ended the campaign on nine goals in his 39 appearances, as Vale secured promotion with a third-place finish, and agreed to sign a new two-year contract in the summer.
Williamson scored six goals in 46 appearances in the 2013–14 campaign, helping the club to a ninth-place finish in League One. On 12 August 2014, Williamson scored his first career hat-trick during Port Vale's 6–2 League Cup victory over Hartlepool United. New manager Rob Page went on to say that Williamson was an important player in Page's tactics, his pace being useful to "create gaps for clever players like Dany N'Guessan, Mark Marshall and Louis Dodds". Page played him as the lone striker in a 4–5–1 formation. He ended the 2014–15 season with nine goals in 47 games.
Williamson rejected the offer of a new contract at Port Vale and instead signed a two-year contract with League One rivals Gillingham in June 2015. Manager Justin Edinburgh said the powerful striker would add a different dimension to the team's attack force. However, he made only four league starts for the club as manager Justin Edinburgh preferred to play Luke Norris, Rory Donnelly and Dominic Samuel.
On 19 November 2015, Williamson joined Cambridge United on a six-week loan deal. He scored three goals in his first four appearances for Shaun Derry's "U's". Though he failed to find the net in the remaining four games of his loan spell, he still did enough to win a permanent transfer to Cambridge in January for an undisclosed fee. He was named on the Football League team of the week after scoring two goals and claiming an assist in a 3–1 victory at Leyton Orient, ably filling the gap left by a long-term injury to top-scorer Barry Corr. He again won a place on the team of the week after ending Yeovil Town run of five clean sheets with a brace during a 3–0 win at the Abbey Stadium on 19 March.
Speaking in February 2017, manager Shaun Derry said that Williamson had to "grasp that opportunity" after starting just four of the club's last 20 fixtures. Derry went on to say that Williamson had "enthusiasm for training... [and] his work rate... [won him] the respect of the whole football club" but that ultimately "you only get judged on the goals you score and the facts of the matter are Ben hasn't scored enough goals this year". He scored just one goal in 43 appearances throughout the 2016–17 campaign and was released in May 2017.
On 2 August 2017, Williamson signed with National League club Eastleigh. Manager Richard Hill said that "I’m delighted to secure the services of Ben, especially with a list of National League teams after him". He scored ten goals in 37 appearances for the "Spitfires" across the 2017–18 campaign and was retained by new manager Andy Hessenthaler. He scored seven goals in 40 appearances throughout the 2018–19 season, helping Eastleigh to reach the play-off semi-finals, where they were beaten by Salford City on penalties. He was offered a new contract in the summer by manager Ben Strevens.
Style of play
Neil Duncanson, commercial director at the Glenn Hoddle Academy said "Ben is a good striker, with a good eye for goal He has fantastic movement off the ball and the pace to take on any defender". After his arrival at Port Vale, manager Micky Adams stated "Ben is a quick striker". Strike partner Tom Pope further said that "he's strong, quick, has a lot of attributes... [and is] going to have a good career". Veteran striker Lee Hughes stated that "he has terrific pace, he's really powerful, his movement is great and he has awareness too".
- As of match played 15 May 2019
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|Jerez Industrial||2010–11||Tercera División Group X||12||8||0||0||—||0||0||12||8|
|Port Vale||2011–12||League Two||35||3||0||0||1||0||1[b]||0||37||3|
|Cambridge United||2015–16||League Two||28||12||—||—||0||0||28||12|
- Port Vale
- "The Football League Retained List". The Football League. 8 July 2015. Retrieved 16 June 2015.
- "Name: Ben Williamson". port-vale.co.uk. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
- "Benjamin Williamson". playerhistory.com. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
- "Ben off to Gibraltar". Worthing F.C. 3 December 2009. Archived from the original on 18 July 2011. Retrieved 12 March 2011.
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- "Worthing finally get their man". The Argus. 8 August 2009. Retrieved 6 February 2011.
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- "Estadisticas" (in Spanish). Jerez Industrial CF. Retrieved 12 March 2011.
- "Double Swoop for Adams". port-vale.co.uk. 28 June 2011. Archived from the original on 20 March 2012. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
- "Bournemouth sign striker Ben Williamson". BBC Sport. 31 January 2011. Retrieved 6 February 2011.
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- Mitchener, Mark (14 May 2011). "Bournemouth 1 – 1 Huddersfield". BBC Sport. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
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- "New Signings". hydefc.co.uk. Archived from the original on 1 August 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
- "Ben Williamson and Ryan Burge join Port Vale". BBC Sport. 28 June 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
- "Port Vale 2 – 3 Shrewsbury". BBC Sport. 17 September 2011. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
- Shaw, Steve (17 September 2011). "Match report: Port Vale 2 Shrewsbury Town 3". The Sentinel. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
- "Port Vale: Post-match stats for Vale's League Two clash with Shrewsbury". The Sentinel. 19 September 2011. Retrieved 19 September 2011.
- Smith, Peter (22 October 2011). "Port Vale: Williamson loving his time in Burslem". The Sentinel. Retrieved 22 October 2011.
- "Port Vale: Striker Williamson facing lengthy spell on sidelines". The Sentinel. 4 November 2011. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
- "Big Ben determined to strike in goal-shy Vale's hour of need". The Sentinel. 3 December 2011. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
- "Hereford 1 – 2 Port Vale". BBC Sport. 26 December 2011. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
- "Four players put pen to paper on new deals". The Sentinel. 21 May 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2012.
- "Supersub Williamson setting new benchmark for Valiants". The Sentinel. 25 October 2012. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
- Pearson, Guy (29 October 2012). "Match report v Northampton Town". The Sentinel. Retrieved 29 October 2012.
- "Forest Green 2 – 3 Port Vale". BBC Sport. 3 November 2012. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
- "Micky Adams hails hot-shot Ben Williamson". The Sentinel. 28 November 2012. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
- "Williamson desperate to prove he's better than super-sub standard". The Sentinel. 9 April 2013. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
- "Port Vale: Out-of-contract quartet agree to new deals". BBC Sport. 25 May 2013. Retrieved 25 May 2013.
- "Port Vale 6–2 Hartlepool". BBC Sport. 12 August 2014. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
- Baggaley, Mike (25 December 2014). "Rob Page says Ben Williamson is perfect for his style of football". The Sentinel. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
- "Williamson starting to repay boss for faith shown in him". The Sentinel. 8 January 2015. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
- "Bradley Garmston and Ben Williamson join Gillingham". BBC Sport. 15 June 2015. Retrieved 16 June 2015.
- Cadwell, Luke (15 June 2015). "Gillingham sign former Port Vale striker Ben Williamson". Kent Online. Retrieved 16 June 2015.
- "Gillingham striker Ben Williamson signs permanent deal at Cambridge United after successful loan". Kent Online. 15 January 2016. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
- "U's complete double loan signing". Cambridge United FC. 19 November 2015. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
- Vaughton, Michael (16 December 2015). "Ben Williamson grabbing Cambridge United loan opportunity". Cambridge News. Retrieved 20 December 2015.
- "Ben Williamson: Gillingham striker signs for Cambridge United". BBC Sport. 15 January 2016. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
- "Sky Bet Football League Team of the Week". www.efl.com. 1 February 2016. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
- "Sky Bet Football League Team of the Week". www.efl.com. 21 March 2016. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
- Vaughton, Michael (2 February 2017). "Ben Williamson urged to grasp Cambridge United opportunities". Cambridge News. Retrieved 10 May 2017.
- Mason, Aaron (3 March 2017). "Ben Williamson backed to become goal-scorer again by Shaun Derry". Cambridge News. Retrieved 10 May 2017.
- Mason, Aaron (10 May 2017). "Is Barry Corr staying at Cambridge United?". Cambridge News. Retrieved 10 May 2017.
- "Eastleigh: Cavaghn Miley and Ben Williamson join National League side". BBC Sport. 2 August 2017. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
- Gee, Wendy (2 August 2017). "Striker Williamson becomes Eastleigh's tenth summer signing". Daily Echo. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
- "End of Season Squad Update | Eastleigh FC". www.eastleighfc.com. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
- "Salford City 1-1 Eastleigh (Salford win 4-3 on penalties)". BBC Sport. 5 May 2019. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
- "Eastleigh announce retained list for new season". The Non League Football Paper - Daily football news. 13 May 2019. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
- "Port Vale: Adams makes double player swoop". The Sentinel. 28 June 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
- "Ben Williamson and Ryan Burge join Port Vale". BBC Sport. 28 June 2011. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
- Shaw, Steve (11 February 2012). "Port Vale: No drama if I don't reclaim place, says Pope". The Sentinel. Retrieved 11 February 2012.
- "Lee Hughes backs Ben Williamson to make impact". The Sentinel. 13 July 2013. Retrieved 13 July 2013.
- Baggaley, Mike (3 September 2013). "Port Vale 2, Bury 1". The Sentinel. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "Games played by Ben Williamson in 2010/2011". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- "Ben Williamson Profile | Aylesbury United FC". www.aylesburyunitedfc.co.uk. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
- "Games played by Ben Williamson in 2011/2012". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- "Games played by Ben Williamson in 2012/2013". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- "Games played by Ben Williamson in 2013/2014". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- "Games played by Ben Williamson in 2014/2015". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- "Games played by Ben Williamson in 2015/2016". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- "Games played by Ben Williamson in 2016/2017". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- Ben Williamson at Soccerway
- "Hoddle Academy chance for Worthing striker". NLN24. Retrieved 29 June 2011.[permanent dead link]
- Sherwin, Phil; Johnson, Dave (2013), Port Vale This Side Up: 2012–2013 Promotion Celebration, BGL, ISBN 978-0-9926579-0-1
- Ben Williamson at Soccerbase