Pools Women slipped up for the first time this season on Sunday as they were beaten 3-2 in an entertaining and open encounter at Farsley Celtic.
Jonathan Gibbon-Hayes’ side went in to the game on the back of two emphatic wins but knew that they were would be in for a stiffer examination in West Yorkshire.
However, Pools started the game on the front foot and were in front with little over a minute on the clock when Jade Pye expertly switched play for Robyn Foster and she ran clear to finish superbly.
It was the perfect start but Pools were unable to build upon it and the home side were level almost immediately when they took advantage of some careless passing at the back and Aaliyah Allen made it 1-1.
The equaliser seemed to knock Pools completely out of their stride and the hosts enjoyed the upper hand before taking the lead on 25 minutes after more hesitant defending allowed Shirley Murphy to find the net.
Pools began to rediscover their composure as the half wore on and enjoyed more of the possession, levelling things up on 32 minutes when Foster scored her second after great work from Justine Robinson.
Farsley keeper Chelsea Pilmer then had to make several fine saves to keep Pools at bay before the break, with Robyn Ingram pulling the strings and causing problems for the home team.
Pools began the second half just as brightly but were rocked on 51 minutes as Farsley snatched the lead again when they raced clear following more defensive woe and Charlotte Adams applied the finishing touch for 3-2.
Gibbon-Hayes responded to the setback by making a triple change, introducing Caitlin Bates, Jenni Duffy-Smith and Sarah Rowbotham from the bench in a bid to regain a foothold in the game.
However, for all their dominance in the closing half hour, Pools struggled to find a way past Pilmer who was in inspired form behind a determined home defence.
Robinson did beat Pilmer after racing through on goal only to see her shot come back off the cross bar, before Duffy-Smith also hit the woodwork as Pools desperately searched for an equaliser.
It wasn’t to be their day though and they fell to their first league defeat of the campaign, dropping to third place in the formative NERWFL Premier Division table.
“I am absolutely gutted with the result,” admitted Gibbon-Hayes.
“It was a game we didn’t deserve to lose but I will go so far as to say that it was one of the best goalkeeping performances I’ve ever seen so credit to her and to Farsley who are a good team.
“We just need to show a togetherness now and hopefully we can get back to winning ways next week in our FA Cup tie.
“It’s tough to take because that’s the first league defeat since I took charge but the only thing we can do is look to bounce back as quickly as possible.”
Full Time: Farsley Celtic 3 Pools 2
Pools: Lillystone, Garside (Henry 79), Stabler, Portas (Duffy-Smith 55), Stuart, Smith, Hanratty (Rowbotham 55), Ingram, Robinson, Pye (Bates 55), Foster (Robson 69).