BRADFORD City Women saw their title hopes take a hit on Sunday afternoon, as Emily Senior’s first game in charge ended in a 3-2 defeat.

They were taking on Sunderland West End away from home, with the North-East side out for revenge having been thumped 6-2 by City at Horsfall seven days previously.

That superb victory for the Bantams helped them storm back into the title race, and it knocked West End off the summit of the North East Regional Women’s Football League Premier Division in the process.

The Bantams had been looking for a new manager for two months, following the sacking of Nick Buxton after just three games in charge, and finally appointed Senior last Thursday.

Senior is only 29, but the former centre-back already has a growing reputation as a manager in the women’s game, overseeing Ossett United Women’s promotion to the NERWFL Premier Division in 2018/19.

And her new side played their part in a wonderful match on Sunday, which exploded to life after the break.

There was only chance of note for either side in the opening 45 minutes, as Sunderland struck an early effort just wide of the post, before their keeper made a fine save to keep City out midway through the first half.

But the goal rush started almost immediately after the interval, with West End opening the scoring on 47 minutes.

The Bantams were not knocked off their stride by that setback however, with star striker, and Bermuda international, Aaliyah Nolan, netting their equaliser on the hour mark.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Aaliyah Nolan is causing opposition defences all sorts of problems this season.Aaliyah Nolan is causing opposition defences all sorts of problems this season. (Image: Alex Daniel.)

City were forced to go again almost immediately, as Sunderland retook the lead pretty much straight from the restart.

When the hosts won a penalty midway through the second half, they had the chance to put the game to bed.

But the spot-kick was missed, meaning City were not staring down the barrel of a two-goal deficit.

Instead, they won a penalty of their own with 15 minutes to go, and the nerveless Kanisha Underdown stepped up and scored it to bring the Bantams level.

Neither side were satisfied with a point and both were pushing for a winner in the closing stages.

Sadly for City, it was the hosts who snatched that all-important fifth goal.

With four minutes left, West End found the winner they were craving, and the three points moved them up to second, above Spennymoor Town.

They sit two points behind leaders South Shields, who beat Harrogate Town 5-0 at the weekend.

As for City, they would have gone second themselves with a victory, but instead remain in fourth, seven points off the top of the table.

The Bantams ladies have a break from league action this Sunday, as they travel to Silsden Juniors for a West Riding Women’s County Cup second round tie instead.