The Championship strugglers held on for a point against the Baggies under the lights at Oakwell on Friday night to pick up a third draw in five matches under Poya Asbaghi and move within seven points of safety.
Ismael’s side were denied by the woodwork and saw a further three efforts cleared off the line in his first return to Barnsley since leaving in the summer following the club’s unlikely play-off charge.
“We rode the storm at times,” admitted Williams. “I think they came here with a game plan to be very aggressive, direct, set-pieces, and I think we’ve dealt well with it – we cleared a few off the line, but we rode the storm.
“We’ve done well to get a point and I think it’s a good point against a very good team.
“It’s always hard to deal with long balls and physical teams – we’re not the most physical of teams – but we’ve all stood up to a man, dug deep, and it showed.”
Barnsley are yet to win under Asbaghi and are the division’s lowest scorers, but did earn a second clean sheet in four matches having previously kept the same amount in the first 18 games of the season.
“It’s a very good framework for us to build on,” added full-back Williams.
“We showed at times that we can play – it’s just the belief now to be more patient on the ball and not rush attacks with the high press.”