YORK City Ladies were unable to check the progress of unbeaten Norton & Stockton Ancients after a 3-0 defeat at Haxby Road.

The Minsterbelles were searching for a third consecutive league victory having achieved maximum points from their double-header with Castleford White Rose – a welcome 5-2 home triumph being followed by a 2-0 success on the road.

Their starting ranks this time notably featured a return for former striker Lucy Lendhill, while there were debuts for new goalkeeper Emily Garland and Rachel Hildreth.

Norton were already boasting a 100 per cent record after finishing as runners-up last term, although they were missing their two leading goalscorers Anna Mawston and Nyci Thoms – both of whom claimed doubles in the corresponding fixture last season.

Meanwhile, regular goalkeeper Rachel Chisnall was another absentee, with Chelsea Beetch taking over between the uprights.

The second-placed visitors were soon in charge and forward Sian Williams – another on the mark in their emphatic 6-1 victory at the same venue back in March – struck twice during the opening half hour of the game.

Courtney Corrie added a third goal prior to a blank second period, in the process helping move her colleagues six points behind leaders Durham Cestria in the table with three games in hand.

Megan Bramham was named as the Belles' player of the game.