Bath City Women 1st (2) 3 Weymouth Women (1) 3 – Sunday 3 September 2023 – South West WFL Eastern Division – Twerton Park
Match Report by Fin Harlow.
Mils Bellotti’s spectacular stoppage time free-kick saved newly promoted Bath City Women from an opening day defeat against Weymouth.
It was defender Bellotti’s second of the game, with her also providing an assist for Libby Goater’s first goal for City.
At a stiflingly hot Twerton Park, Weymouth hit the bar early from Zara Hunt’s close range header before they took the lead in the 14th minute.
Charlotte Wilson played an excellent ball over the top to Ellia McCann and the midfielder ran through on goal before calmly finishing into the bottom left corner.
It took just five minutes for the Stripes to equalise. Bellotti’s free-kick was spilt by Renee Marquis and debutant Goater capitalised, taking a touch and placing the ball between two defenders on the line.
Marquis was also at fault for Bellotti’s first direct free-kick of the game.
As the delivery was swung in from 35 yards, Hari Sabic ran across in front of Marquis causing her to misjudge the ball and allow it to bounce in.
In the second half, Weymouth improved and deservedly levelled in the 54th minute.
Just like their first goal, Wilson was able to pick a perfect pass, completely splitting the defence which allowed Hunt to run through on goal and finish calmly via the post.
The visitors took the lead with 14 minutes remaining. This time Annie Redding carved City open, her pass allowed Wilson to finish calmly into the bottom right past Sadie Farley.
After Marquis superbly denied Sophie Bull and Tanea Wright, she was powerless to prevent a last-gasp leveller.
Following a handball on the edge of the box, Bellotti stepped up and expertly steered her free-kick into the top corner with referee Wilkin blowing for full-time immediately after amid wild celebrations.
City’s Line-Up: Farley, Jefferies, Black, Bellotti, Gray, Taylor, Harris, Goater, E Dellow, Sabic, Key. Subs used: Giles, Wright, Wells, Bull, Curtis.
Scorers: City – Goater (19), Bellotti (34. 90+7); Weymouth – McCann (14), Hunt (54), Wilson (76)
Referee: Graham Wilkin