Moors Ladies suffered a disappointing defeat to Gateshead on Sunday as they fell to the odd goal in five at The International Stadium.
Billy Shackleton’s side were looking to build momentum following their 8-1 destruction of West Allotment Celtic in their previous outing, but they came away empty-handed following a frustrating afternoon on Tyneside.
The game started with the home side on top as they looked to make the most of a strong wind behind them to get on the front foot in the early stages.
However, Moors held their ground and grew into the game, almost taking the lead when Loren Salkeld just failed to convert before chances for Kira Whittle and Holly Middleton came and went.
There was a blow for Shackleton when goalkeeper Steph Doonan was forced off with the recurrence of a calf injury and substitute Nicole Scott was unable to stop Gateshead taking the lead on 17 minutes through a fine strike.
The hosts were buoyed by the opening goal and doubled their lead just a couple of minutes later to leave Moors with a mountain to climb.
There was a good response though and Moors pulled a goal back almost immediately when Courtney Mole spotted Autumn Colledge’s run from central midfield, and she applied a wonderful left-foot finish.
The joy turned to despair though when Gateshead restored their two-goal lead when a well-placed strike from distance curled over Scott and into the net.
Hannah Knox continued her fine start to the new campaign when she fired home her third goal of 2022/23 following Autumn Colledge’s flick-on from Whittle’s long throw.
Moors went on the front foot after the break when Whittle drew a good save from the Gateshead keeper before firing another opportunity just off target from long range.
Autumn College came close to levelling for Moors and there were also big claims for a penalty waved away by the referee when Drew Seymour went down in the area.
Ironically, a spot kick was then awarded at the other end after a foul from Alice Welch-Davison, but the effort struck the post before Coral College bundled away the loose ball.
There was further bad news for Moors in the closing stages when Julia McGovern picked up an ankle injury which looks set to keep her sidelined for the coming weeks.
“It wasn’t a great performance,” admitted Shackleton afterwards.
“We have to make sure we take our chances and put games like this out of sight when we can.
“We will go away and work on what went wrong in midweek.”
Full Time: Gateshead 3 Moors 2
Moors: Doonan, Knox, C Colledge, Welch-Davison, O Mole, Salkeld, C Mole, A Colledge, Whittle, Middleton, Seymour.
Subs: Scott, McGovern, Farrugia, Butcher.