West Ham United Ladies fell to a 2-1 FA Tesco Women's Premier League South defeat by Colchester United on Sunday.
Despite taking the lead through Lindsey Morgan's fantastic first-half strike, the Hammers were unable to hold off the challenge of their Essex-based rivals, conceding two second-half goals to fall to their third league defeat of the season.
Having drawn 0-0 at Gillingham the previous weekend, the Ladies were hoping to bounce back to winning ways at Ship Lane. Accordingly, Julia Setford's (pictured) side started brightly and put pressure on the Colchester defence from the off.
It took eleven minutes for the home side to take the lead. Morgan was put through wide on the left and continued her run to the edge of the Colchester penalty area before firing a terrific left footed shot over the goalkeeper and into the far corner.
The second half saw a more determined Colchester pen West Ham back in their own half and not allow them out. The tactic worked very effectively as the Hammers found themselves struggling to but any pressure on the Colchester defence.
Colchester levelled the score in the 56th minute when West Ham failed to clear a corner the ball fell to Helen Bass, who drove a powerful shot into the corner of the net.
West Ham never found their free-flowing football that had produced plenty of goals at the start of the season and it was difficult to see where a winning goal would come from.
The Hammers were punished with ten minutes remaining when Kate Longhurst got free down the right flank and sent over a low cross-shot that cannoned into the net off the base of the far post.
The hosts did have time to launch a couple of late attacks in search of an equaliser, but could not find the target with two shots on goal.West Ham United Ladies: Nikki Duncan, Jess Barling, Natalie Grafton, Rosey Sullivan, Tracy Duxbury, Stacey Little, Carly Roache, Lindsey Morgan, Gemma Shepherd, Kelley Blanchflower, Becky Merritt
Subs used: Mel Abegglen, Danica Revell, Kerry Stimson