Lincoln City Women were narrowly defeated 3-2 away against Leek Town despite a spirited performance at Harrison Park.
The Imps were fastest out of the blocks early on, as Abi Ringrose’s fierce drive was palmed away to safety by Leek Town goalkeeper Bethany Cottrell in the 2nd minute.
Shortly afterwards, Toni McHamilton fired over from a difficult angle after a penalty area scramble.
City continued to cement their dominance and were unfortunate not to take the lead in the 6th minute after Lucy Farrow saw her precise strike deflect off the post following some incisive work by Maddi Green down the right.
Then in the 16th minute, Chantelle Gallagher gave the hosts the lead against the run of play, tapping home from close range to make it 1-0.
The Imps responded in excellent fashion as Abi Ringrose’s long-range strike nestled into the top corner to make it 1-1 in the 19th minute.
Three minutes later, Green saw a shot tipped over the bar by Cottrell after the culmination of a fast-flowing counter attack by the Imps.
Farrow was agonisingly close to scoring in the 27th minute, when she followed up on McHamilton’s initial shot which was saved, only to see the ball drift narrowly wide of the target.
On the brink of half-time, City went ahead through Farrow, after some great work by Green in the build-up unlocked the Leek Town defence.
This proved to be the last action of the first half, with City leading 2-1 going into the break.
Leek Town started the second half brightly and deservedly levelled the scoreline at 2-2 in the 50th minute, after their captain Cassie Hyde headed home at the back-post from Gallagher’s precise corner.
The Imps almost replied instantly when Green latched onto a fortuitous deflection, but her powerful shot was well saved by Cotterall.
In the 60th minute, the hosts went 3-2 ahead from another corner when Jade Treanor rose to meet Paris O’Connor’s delivery.
City manager Lee Mitchell responded immediately by bringing on Leah Hardy, Ella Bailey and Jodie Steadman.
The trio made an instance impact with all three playing a key role in constructing a guilt-edged opportunity for Sinead Fletcher in the 71st minute. Her low drive from close range was well-stopped by Cotterall, however.
City continued to put the pressure on their opponents as the clock ticked down, but despite a valiant effort they fell to a narrow 3-2 defeat.
Mitchell praised his team’s ‘much improved performance’ from last week’s loss at Northampton Town and felt they deserved more out of the game.
The Imps are now 4th in the Women’s National League Division One and will have the chance to bounce back next week against Sporting Khalsa.