Hartlepool United Ladies suffered their first defeat of the season as they were beaten 4-1 by Durham Cestria on Sunday afternoon.
Andy Stuart’s girls went in to the game protecting a 100% start to the season but knew they would be up against it in hosting a Durham side who had won all five of their games so far.
The visitors threat was underlined early on when they snatched the lead on six minutes, taking advantage when Pools failed to react to the second ball from their own goal kick and the forward ran through to score.
The remainder of the first half was a fairly scrappy affair with both sides cancelling each other out and neither creating much in the way of goalscoring opportunities.
However, Pools came out flying after the break and were back on level terms within two minutes when Amy Cowan darted in down the right wing and produced a calm finish to make it 1-1.
Durham Cestria edged back when Pools struggled to clear a corner and, after a bit of pinball in the penalty area, the visitors finally slotted the ball in to the net.
Pools had no option but to go on the attack to try and get back in to the game and it led to the creation of a few half chances but also left them vulnerable to the counter.
That fear was realised late on when Durham added two further goals in the final five minutes to add some gloss to their victory and move six points clear of Pools at the top of the table.
“We’re obviously disappointed with the result,” admitted Stuart afterwards.
“It’s a very tight league and only one team can win promotion so we can’t really afford to lose many games if we want to keep pace.
“Our performance wasn’t as good as it has been in recent weeks but Durham were able to name a very strong side – and the fact they did that is something I take as a compliment.”
Full Time: Pools 1 Durham Cestria 4
Pools: Geoghan, Smith (Cowan 20), Garside, Stuart, Duffy-Smith, Bates, Robinson, Bartlett, Crossman (Hurrell 44 (Pye 80)), Rowbotham, Dawson (Lambert 75).
Barr.Subs not used: