York City Ladies' league campaign opened with a 2-0 defeat to newly-promoted Durham Cestria at Haxby Road.

The visitors had previously begun their own challenge by annihilating Castleford White Rose 12-0 just seven days earlier – and were in fact already involved in their fourth competitive fixture.

In contrast, York had only managed a single League Cup tie – a narrow 1-0 victory over Boro Rangers – and that a full three weeks ago. And Cestria were to triumph again with a goal in each half eventually securing them maximum points.

Both arrived at the end of the two respective 45 minutes.

Having struck four times last time out, Molly Holder was on target for the fourth successive game just before the break. Substitute Nisha Mistry then made it safe for the visitors during added time.

The Minsterbelles were missing three of their summer recruits who were sidelined with knocks: returning favourites Chloe Precious and Jazz Whitwell, in addition to midfielder Rachel Humble.

Meanwhile, a second new goalkeeper, Skye Kirkham, will only link up with the squad when completing a move to the city this week.

But the highly-rated Josie Hewson made a welcome return into a defence that also included fellow newcomer Laura Midgley. That followed their recent moves from Guiseley Vixens and Bradford City respectively.

There were also full league debuts to four members of last season's successful reserve team in goalkeeper Leigh Bamford, vice-captain and centre-back Gemma Croft, plus forward duo Anna Whitehead and Alice Turner.

"So proud of the team today .... not the best result but the performance was brilliant. Plenty to take forward," reacted skipper Kayleigh Davis after the game.

York City Ladies: Leigh Bamford, Josie Hewson, Laura Midgley, Gemma Croft, Jess Barnes, Sara Renfrew, Nikki Brown, Beth Clayton, Anna Whitehead, Kayleigh Davis, Alice Turner. Subs: Ellie Regan, Charlie Shaw, Abbi Webster.