A LAST-DITCH strike from Cara Milne-Redhead saw York City Ladies fall to a late 1-0 defeat to Norton & Stockton Ancients at the York Sport Stadium on Easter Sunday.

York looked to build on their impressive 4-1 victory over York RI in the County Cup semi-final, with a return to league action against Norton & Stockton.

But it wasn't to be for Chris Holloway's side, who failed to break out of the FA Women's National League division one.

Norton & Stockton are now 11 points clear of City, having played three games extra in their first win in four.

Holloway's side were subject to a chance from the visitors early on, as Bianca Owens nodded her header narrowly over Becky Sidwell's crossbar.

The Minsterbelles had their first opportunity of the contest with a well-worked move from the training ground, seeing the corner find Hannah Brierley in a dangerous position, but she struggled to direct her header on target.

Holloway's side were now in control after 20 minutes, before Norton & Stockton's Georgia Rae was shown a yellow card for a rough tackle on Ruby Gore.

Gore responded with a fierce effort from a prominent position, with her strike fizzing narrowly wide of the target, before a mix up at the back for York saw the visitors drift an effort wide.

The Minsterbelles continued to push for an opener as Brierley delivered a cross into Faye Singleton, but her header evaded the target.

Heading into the second-half, Gore again tried to carve out an opening when cutting inside and curling an effort goalwards, only to be denied by the opposition goalkeeper.

York defended excellently to keep Owens out, before Kelly Garcia's was caught by the wind and nearly caught Norton & Stockton off guard.

But with time running out in a second-half lacking action, it was the visitors who stole the three points.

A mistake allowed Milne-Redhead to break through on goal, before sliding an effort past Sidwell despite her best efforts, with the score ending 1-0.

It was a frustrating result for Holloway, telling club media: "It's hugely tough, I couldn't have asked for anymore from the girls.

"Not taking anything away from Norton, I'd like to extend my condolences and the club's condolences, they've had a really tough week and it's a credit to Norton that they have come down and played this game. I wish them all the very best.

"It's a very tough one to take today, I couldn't have been any happier with the girls' overall performance.

"We're gutted, I've had feedback from their game against Leeds and I know what a tough side they are. They've always got a threat, that proved me right at the end and we had to expect them to come out as a better version of what they were in the first-half."

York City Ladies: Sidwell, Jeffels, Brown, Smith, Collins, Hardcastle, Rolandsen, Brierley, Duffield, Singleton, Tinson

Subs not used: Garcia, Hemmings, Hodgson, Gore, Hendrikson-Eastwood

Attendance: 170