Town Ladies fell to their first defeat in five as they lost 4-3 against promotion rivals Hartlepool United, despite their best attempt at a second half comeback.Goals from Lindsey Whitton and Holly Smith (x2) just weren't enough for Town to take anything from an entertaining game at The CNG Stadium.
Despite the cold December weather, the visiting Hartlepool were straight out of the traps and after just 50 seconds they found the back the of net, with Town looking like they were still in first gear and only just getting going.
In the fifth minute Kelly Jackson-Powell made a great fingertip save to keep Town in the game, then pulling out more heroics with another fantastic diving save from the resulting corner.
Unfortunately for Town, Hartlepool would double their lead before the ten-minute mark, slick play and a cool finish from the visiting side put them two to the good.
Despite the crazy start, the goal scoring for the first ten minutes wasn't over just yet, in the ninth minute Whitton battled hard after being played through by Sophie Tinson to get to the ball and stab an effort in the goal, giving Town a much needed lifeline in the very fast paced game.
Thanks to more goalkeeping heroics from Jackson-Powell, Town managed to stay in the game. The home keeper pulling of several impressive saves throughout the tie.
That would be only until the 43rd minute when a great finish from the visiting striker restored their two-goal cushion going into the break.
The start of the second half almost mirrored the first, but this time it would be in Harrogate Town's favour.
After just 50 seconds of the second half, Smith pulled off a great finish to close the gap. The perfect start to the half for Jon Maloney's side.
But Smith wasn't done just yet, in the 48th minute the winger brought the game back to level terms.
After more patient play from Town, Smith was played through and made no mistake yet again to bring the game back to 3-3, definitely the start to the half they would have wanted.
Unfortunately for Town the comeback wasn't meant to be, and Hartlepool took the lead again in the 60th minute, after their attacker broke free and rounded Jackson-Powell to grab all the three points in a cynical fashion.
Ultimately for Town it was the slow start which despite all their efforts they just couldn't turn around and a take anything from the game.
The side will now travel to Ossett United next weekend to get their promotion aspirations back on track.
Town: Jackson-Powell, Marsden, Wilson, Clayton, Foyer, Mcdonald, Gill, Beth Davies, Whitton, Tinson, Smith.
Subs: Adams, Crispin, Becky Davies.
Report by Isaac Martin