Belles suffered a narrow defeat in their first game of pre-season as they lost 2-1 to Sutton Coldfield Town Ladies.
The first half was an even affair with Belles dominating possession while Sutton created more clear cut chances.
Nadia Khan had an early chance for the Belles when she danced around the opposition defenders and into the box, but was unable to guide her effort on target. Belles had another early chance this time Sophie Scargill shooting wide after some more excellent passing around the edge of the box.
For all of the Belles play, the visitors proved to be a handful from corners. Scargill headed one narrowly over her own crossbar after doing well to beat her attacker in the air and Khan reacted brilliantly to clear another one off the line.
Belles were creating some half-chances with good through balls finding the tireless runs of Jasmine Saxton. Saxton’s best chance came around the half-hour mark when Khan’s pass into her seemed perfectly paced but the keeper did well to smother what would have been a tap in.
Saxton tested the keeper when she tried her luck from distance with a few minutes remaining in the first half and Belles ended the half narrowly heading over from a corner.
Belles weren't afforded as much of the ball in the second half and Sutton showed their intentions with two good early corners, one which was saved excellently by Ellie Mortimer at the near post and a second which was put wide at the far post.
The visitors made their pressure count just eight minutes into the second 45, when a strike from the right was saved well by Mortimer, but the Sutton striker was quickest to react to the loose ball and tapped into the empty net. The visitors stretched their lead just three minutes later when some good play down the Belles right resulted in a one on one.
The second half drinks break came at a good time for the Belles and they started the final quarter of the match the better side. The sharp passing was too much for the visitors with Khan and Izzy Trevillion forming a particularly good partnership down the left-hand side. This combination soon led to a chance for Khan, but the winger sent the ball off target.
Belles got their goal with just ten minutes of the match remaining. Kirsty Smith’s in-swinging free kick caused the visiting keeper all sorts of trouble and she could only palm it down to Sophie Brown who showed good instincts to knock the ball in from close range.
Hannah McWilliams had her curling effort from distance saved five minutes from time and Smith almost levelled the score with the last kick of the game when her cross-shot almost dipped under the crossbar. But the Belles had to settle for a 2-1 defeat.