York City Ladies’ recently improved run was ended by a 3-0 defeat to third-placed Hartlepool United Ladies at Victoria Park.
The Minsterbelles had approached the contest having won five of their previous six games while including a recent double over bottom club Wakefield.
However, goals from Jade Pye, Faye Garside and Caitlin Bates (pen) marked a first-ever appearance for their hosts at the venue.
The visitors were noticeably without midfielder Nikki Brown, who had scored a total of five goals across the previous two games, while there was a rare start this season for Hollie Smith.
Defenders Laura Midgley and Helen Winterburn were others missing from the midweek victory at Wakefield, in what appeared an attacking line-up.
Photo: Ian Parker
Hollie Smith received a start for the visitors at Victoria Park
But it was Hartlepool taking the lead close to half-time when striker Pye fired past goalkeeper Emily Garland from inside the area.
That was added to as left-back Garside’s cross on the hour deceived substitute keeper Leigh Bamford, while leading scorer Bates soon added a third from the penalty spot after being fouled.
The Belles were always a threat on the break but couldn’t manage a reply despite their best efforts.
That leaves City still sixth in the table, well clear of relegation and with now three more league games to play, starting next week at home to Wallsend BC.
And Wallsend finally got back to winning ways by hammering Wakefield 10-0 in their latest game. Brittany Davison scored a hat-trick, with Samantha Deverdics (2), Hannah Gosnold, Micheala McHugh, Emily Tate, Tanya McGowan and Catherine Shields also on the scoresheet.
Meanwhile, in the League Cup, Norton & Stockton Ancients narrowly edged out Farsley Celtic 2-1 courtesy of goals from Chelsea Beetch and Victoria Hutchinson.
Durham Cestria were similarly victorious in the same competition, 3-0 at lower division Altofts, to join them in the final.
Hartlepool United Ladies: Smith, Cowan, Stuart, Robinson, Garside, Bartlett, Basnett, Duffy-Smith, Dawson, Pye, Bates
subs: Lucy Hammond-Garrington, Joanne Hurrell, Hannah Lambert, Lottie Portas, Mae Rackstraw
Goals: Pye, Garside, Bates (pen)
York City Ladies: Emily Garland, Josie Hewson, Sara Renfrew, Abbi Webster, Charlie Shaw, Megan Bramham, Hollie Smith, Lindsay Jordan, Lucy Lendhill, Alice Turner, Anna Whitehead
subs: Leigh Bamford
Photos by kind permission of Ian Parker