A late goal denied Burnley Ladies a share of the points when they suffered a 2-1 reverse against Bolton Wanderers on Sunday.
A strong cross-wind rendered fluent football difficult, restricting much of the play to a midfield war of attrition, with few chances created by either side.
The lady Clarets almost opened the scoring in the fifth minute when full back Becca Sidley eluded Bolton’s offside trap, carrying the ball half the length of the field, only to see her strike fade wide of the far post.
In these opening exchanges, Charlotte Hartley impressed, tackling ferociously and allowing Burnley to counterattack with pace.
When Bolton pressed forward, Jo Holt headed clear over her own bar, and young defender Mollie Farrell impressed with some timely interceptions.
But Bolton gained the lead on 35 minutes when a long punt through the centre of Burnley’s defence resulted in keeper Sophie Valentine’s clearance ricocheting off the advancing striker, presenting her with an easy finish.
And Bolton gained the ascendancy in the early stages of the second half, with one effort striking the bar before Valentine pulled off a smart safe to keep out an attempted lob.
Burnley equalised in the 73rd minute with their most flowing attack of the game.
Jo Rohman won the ball in central midfield and sprayed a pass to Em Forrest on the right flank.
Forrest controlled the ball in full stride, and arrowed a cross along the edge of the six-yard box, where star performer Danni Cooper responded smartly to poke the ball home.
After drawing level, Burnley looked the most likely to go on and win the game, with substitutes Rachael Wood and Jade Brindle injecting pace into the Burnley forward line and regularly troubling the Bolton defence.
But Bolton bagged the winner 10 minutes from time when a goal kick was propelled back towards the Burnley goal into the path of the Bolton striker, who finished clinically.
Burnley Ladies will look to return to winning ways on Sunday when they host the City of Manchester, kick-off 2 p.m., at Barden Sports and Athletic Club.
The Clarets then bring the curtain down on their season a week on Sunday when they travel to face Morecambe, kick-off 1 p.m.