BRADFORD City Women began their FA Women's National League Division One North season with a narrow 1-0 home defeat to Chester Le Street Town behind closed doors.

City started the first half on the front foot and both Harriet Jakeman and Sophie Hawkins were causing all sorts of problems on the wings.

There were a couple of half chances for both teams but the defences worked well and shots were either blocked or from range, giving both keepers plenty of time to collect them with ease.

The only goal of the game came after 35 minutes.

Chester Le Street were awarded a free kick around 25 yards out, which was crossed into the back post.

The ball seemed to catch the wind and spectacularly sailed into the top corner, totally wrong footing keeper Aimee Routledge in the City goal.

The second half was pretty much the same as the first, City working hard in midfield and Chester Le Street utilising the longer pass and some very pacey, physical strikers.

However, with defences on top and chances being very limited, there were no further goals.

City's manager Chris Hames said afterwards: “Naturally we are disappointed by the result.

“We wanted to start with points, but Chester Le Street are a good side that will cause everyone problems this season.

“Without the ball we looked solid and gave away very few chances. There were only a handful of shots on goal, and none that we didn’t have control over.

“With the ball we were disappointing. But you can see what we are trying to do, and we did try to do that throughout, it just wasn’t carried out very well.

“That will improve as we keep working and keep developing our game.

“We’re looking forward to the next one and improving each week, and those results coming together.”

City make the long trip up to the North East to play Newcastle United on Sunday, before hosting neighbours Leeds United at Eccleshill on September 29.

City's reserves, who are looking for an assistant manager to work alongside Manny Mehmood, were due to kick off their season at Hull City's reserves.

But that Reserve Northern Division clash had to be cancelled due to both teams needing to follow Covid-19 guidelines.