The Belles suffered their first defeat in four games as Sporting Khalsa came from behind to take three points on Sunday in the FAWNL Division One Midlands.
Eva Madarang’s early goal put the Belles in front, before an own goal from Chloe Starling and a Molly Wright strike either side of the break flipped the game on its head.
The Belles knocked on the door for the final half an hour but were unable to grab an equaliser at the Aspray Arena and suffered their first loss under Andy Butler in the league.
The Belles took the lead with the first attack of the game, as Sophie Scargill won a free-kick under pressure deep inside the opposition half.
Kirsty Smith swung the set-piece in and after a few bobbles in the Khalsa box, and Madarang got the decisive touch to guide the ball into the corner of the goal beyond Toni Whale.
Whale would be called into action to 10 minutes later as Izzy Trevillion drove forward, with the ball breaking to Nadia Khan, though the Belles’ No.7 saw her effort saved by the home goalkeeper.
Lauren Walker had the first effort for the hosts halfway through the first half, seeing her shot from six yards out deflected behind for a corner.
The Belles pressed on and tried to double their lead via Smith’s dangerous set-pieces, this time Fiona Berry flicked the ball on for Starling at the back post, though Whale was down well to claw the ball away for another corner.
16-year-old Ellie Mortimer came in for her Belles’ debut and made a smart save to deny Jess Keeling from 10 yards out after a powerful effort by the Khalsa centre-half.
The hosts would get their leveller five minutes before the interval through a big slice of luck, as a cross from the left-hand side was put into her own net by Starling on the stretch.
This didn’t deter the Belles and they went on the attack immediately in search of getting a goal that would put them back ahead.
Khan drove forward to find Jasmine Saxton on the edge of the box, but the Belles forward could only strike the crossbar.
It was more of the same from the Belles after the break, with Whale again called into action five minutes into the second half, denying Saxton from getting a goal after she was put through by Becca Sausby.
Smith would go close too with a free-kick from 25 yards out that sailed just wide of the far post, but it would be the hosts who got themselves in front just past the hour mark.
Wright drove forward from the left-hand side and fired into the far corner via the post to put Khalsa ahead on 62 minutes.
The Belles piled on the pressure in the remaining half an hour, with Hannah McWilliams twice heading wide from Smith set-pieces, before Chloe Evans, in goal for the injured Whale, tipped another Smith free-kick around the post.
Belles substitute Chloe Bethell also forced Evans into a good save from close range late on, whilst Mortimer denied the hosts a third through Walker’s long-range effort.
The Belles’ efforts would be in vain though as the hosts held on to take three points in the FAWNL Division One Midlands and inflict a first league defeat in four games.
The Belles move on now and host table-topping Wolves next Sunday at Oxford Street as they look to get back to winning ways.