The Belles put in a superb performance against table-topping Wolves but were defeated by the odd-goal at Oxford Street on Sunday.
Sophie Bramford’s goal with the last kick of the first half was the difference between the two sides in the FAWNL Division One Midlands, but Andy Butler’s Belles can hold their heads high after a strong team effort.
The Belles did well to restrict the visitor’s chances, with the first effort on target coming from Anna Morphet’s 35 yard free-kick, with the returning Ellie Sharpe getting behind the shot to save well.
A Morphet corner provided Wolves with their next chance, with Jamila Palmer making contact in the middle, but her close range effort went wide of the post.
Eva Madarang had the Belles’ first chance on the half-hour mark, cutting inside onto her left foot and shooting on goal, only for Maddie Elbro to get down and make a save.
The visitors would have the ball in the back of the net on 37 minutes, with another Morphet set-piece finding Andrea Barnett in space to head home, only for the linesman to flag for offside.
They did find the opener though with the last kick of the opening 45 minutes, as a cross from the left by Billie Haynes was cleared into the path of Bramford who let fly from 20 yards and found the bottom corner in a cruel blow before the break.
It could’ve been two within two minutes of the second period, with Jade Cross left with plenty of space in the area, only to fire well over the bar from six yards out.
Cross was looking to add to her 20 goals in the league so far this season and when she turned and shot from the edge of the box, Sharpe again had to be alert to deny her, as did Izzy Trevillion moments later with a superb last-ditch tackle five yards out from goal.
Another Morphet corner from the left-hand side saw Chloe Starling clear off the line after a header in the middle, before Emily Burgin blocked Bramford’s goal-bound effort on the floor from the rebound.
The performance was one that saw all in a Belles’ shirt put their bodies on the line to restrict the league leaders and were unfortunate that the late sucker-punch in the first half was the difference.
Butler’s Belles will now look to build on their performance at home once again next weekend as they host second-placed Birmingham and West Midlands in the FAWNL Division One Midlands.