Following a devastating loss against Exeter one week previous, Bath Women’s 2’s Football endured several vigorous training sessions in order to prepare for their most important match to date; the semi-final of the Western Conference Cup against Exeter 1’s. Dans Laws, a 19-year-old aspiring football manager from Newcastle, has coached the girls from a rocky start of the season towards an undefeated streak that could only be rivalled by Liverpool. Having taken on world-class football tactician Will Yates, Bath was being managed by an unrivalled duo.
Fans flocked to St Johns in the sunshine, pints and vuvuzelas in hand. Coming together for a final huddle, the team looked on as Exeter took to the pitch to do their customary pre-match ritual, not the Haka but rather to a sing a rendition of Shakira’s Waka Waka. And with that, the match kicked off.
Winning every tackle and dominating the game, Bath appeared on top playing quick one-touch football. With every tackle, the crowd cheered on with some fan favourites such as “Oh Isobel is magic” and “Oh Anderotti, you are the love of my life”. Thanks to the SES supporters, the atmosphere was electric.
As we entered the twentieth minute, Exeter were looking dangerous. Eventually capitalising on Bath’s mistake, Exeter’s striker fumbled the ball over the line giving them the lead. Crowds quietened as tensions built. With one opportunity and one goal, we ended the first half with Exeter 1, Bath 0.
Having made no changes, the teams entered the second half with an aggressive energy and insatiable desire to win. Exeter were granted a dangerous free kick just outside of the 18-yard box. The ball was lobbed straight to the keeper, who couldn’t reach it and Exeter’s striker tapped it in. The referee called for a goal but was met with contestation from crowds as the lineswoman stood with her raised flag, calling for offside. Emerging from tense discussions with the lineswoman, the referee reverted his decision and the goal was disallowed. Knowing that this was a saving grace, Bath came back fighting.
A corner taken by Bowers equalised the game as Mathias found the back of the net. The crowds exploded with excitement as Bath was back in the game. Both teams were fighting for their place in the final. With lots of close calls, the final whistle was blown. Both teams reconvened to discuss final tactics, Laws’ instructions were clear: change nothing and win.
Ten minutes into extra time, Johnson got taken out in the penalty box and the referee signalled for a penalty. Calmly and confidently lining up her shot, Johnson scored with a clinical finish. Having taken the lead, Bath quickly changed tactics. Playing defensively, Exeter failed to find any opportunities to equalise. As the final whistle was blown, the crowds went wild. And with that win, Victoria ‘Pasta’ Corrigan became the most successful captain in UOBWFC history.
Final Score: Bath 2 – 1 Exeter 1’s
Goals: Niamh and Emily
MOM: Izzy ‘Lino’ Townsend for calling the offside and changing the course of the game.
DOD: Fina Rowden for continuously doing foul throws – consistency is key.