Sunderland Women were beaten in a close affair on the road against Bristol City Women in the Barclays Women’s Championship.
A lone goal from Shania Hayles separated the two sides in the 57th minute at the Robins High Performance Centre.
The Lasses had the opening chance of the game as Tyler Dodds’ corner found Brianna Westrup at the box, but her header went wide of the far post.
There were few chances early in the first half, with the next chance coming 27 minutes in, as another Sunderland corner found the feet of Danielle Brown, but her shot was blocked.
Soon after, Bristol City broke away but were thwarted by a superb last-ditch tackle from Grace mcCatty to cut the pass out.
Bristol City were denied an opener late into the first half as Abi Harrison fouled Claudia Moan in the run-up to their disallowed goal, with the sides going into half-time level.
The hosts took the lead as Hayles was played through on goal, and the forward kept her composure to slot home her chance into the bottom corner.
Sunderland were a threat from corners throughout, and in the 72nd minute, the ball landed in the middle of the box, but after a scramble for a shot, the goalkeeper managed to gather the ball.
Mel Reay’s side almost equalised in the last few minutes from a corner again as Herron’s resulting shot was blocked near the line, with the rebound also being dealt with by the Robins.
The Lasses return to Eppleton next week as preparations begin for their game against Charlton Women.
SAFC Women: Moan, Holmes (J. Brown 72’), McCatty, Westrup, Beer, Griffiths, Ramshaw © (McInnes 66’), Kelly (Herron 90’), D. Brown, Dodds (Watson 90’), Scarr (Gears 90’).
Subs not used: Cowling, Mullen, Ede, Manders.