Ben Williams honoured to pip Leigh Griffiths to Hibs player of the year

Goalkeeper credits penalty saves for making a big impression during first year at Easter Road.

Ben Williams, Hibs, March 2013.
© SNS Group

Ben Williams admits his spot kick heroics helped him claim the Hibernian fans’ player of the year award ahead of free-scoring Leigh Griffiths.

The goalkeeper picked up the supporters’ title this week during a season in which he has saved six of the nine penalties he has faced so far.

The former Colchester shot stopper has quickly been taken the hearts of the Hibs fans and he said he was surprised to have been chosen ahead of Griffiths – another hero of the Easter Road faithful.

Williams said: “The penalty saves are a bonus for me. Things like that stick in supporters’ minds.

“I’ve been fortunate that they came in games where we needed something or that led to a positive outcome.

“It’s a great privilege and an honour to be given any award from fans and to get an award above someone like Leigh Griffiths who has been scoring goals for fun has really added to it.”

Hibs face Inverness on Saturday with the race for the top six finely poised.

Pat Fenlon’s men sit level on points in sixth place with Dundee United, while Kilmarnock are just two points behind with a game in hand.

Williams believes every game must be treated like a cup final now, with a daunting trip to Celtic Park ahead in the final match before the SPL breaks in two.

The former Manchester United youth said: “It’s exciting for fans but for us, we have must-win games now. We must beat Inverness and get something from the Celtic game to give us any chance.

“What Inverness have got right is a good team spirit. They have a good fighting spirit that comes from the manager down.

“We noticed that when we played them and they came back to make it 2-2.

“That kind of kick-started their season.”

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