Chesterfield FC Women went down to a 3-1 defeat at AFC Bentley on Sunday afternoon.
The game was always going to be tough one up against a side who are unbeaten this season.
Bentley started the game well and scored early on, which was a wake-up call for the Spireites.
Chesterfield settled into the game and limited Bentley to chances by competing physically.
The Spireites created chances in the first half but, unfortunately, they couldn’t create a clear-cut opening after playing some fantastic football.
At half time they re-grouped, re-focused and went through the positives from the first half.
Starting the second half well, they kept the pressure on Bentley and a goal from Watkinson drew them level.
Then, a lack of concentration saw Bentley score from the kick-off.
They limited Bentley to chances and the young side battled well until the hosts scored their third from a scramble in the box following a corner.
In the final minutes, Bentley were awarded a penalty and Carroll made fantastic to save to keep it out.
Giving her thoughts on the game, manager Andrea Parkinson said: “It was always going to be a tough game up against an experienced Bentley who have been together a few years.
“All players battled well and tried to play football. I reiterated at the end that we’ve overachieved – which is fantastic – and to lose 3-1 shows how far we’ve come as the reverse fixture at the start of the season was a lot different.
“For a young, new squad who have only been together for eight months, they have been superb.
“We now have a two-week break before our last game of the season. We will re-focus in training and prepare for Wakefield.”