London Bees fell to defeat on the opening day of the FA Women’s Championship season as goals from Grace Neville and Lucy Fitzgerald condemned Lee Burch’s side to a 2-0 defeat at The Hive.

The Bees got off to a lightning start and were almost ahead within seconds off kick-off.

Amelia Hazard picked up on the halfway line before lacing a pass-through to Lauren Pickett. Baring down one-on-one with Lucy Thomas, Pickett could only fire straight at the Lionesses’ stopper.

However, it was the visitors who would take the lead with seven minutes on the clock. Neville latched onto an in-swinging cross to head home, giving the visitors the advantage.

Pickett was lively for the Bees again as her cross-cum-shot threatened Thomas at the far post before Lucy Fitzgerald fired wide up the other end.

With minimal chances for either side in the first period, Bonnie Horwood had the last effort of the half as her audacious effort forced Thomas into a flying save.

In similar fashion to the opening of the first half, Pickett almost found herself on the scoresheet just minutes after the restart. Chasing down a long ball, Pickett beat one before slicing wide.

But, the Bees were made to pay once again for their missed chances as Fitzgerald doubled the Lionesses lead.

After a smart cut-back, Fitzgerald took aim and smashed into the bottom left corner, beyond the helpless Quantrill.

Looking for a reply, Pickett came close once again for the Bees after being slipped through by Nikita Whinnet, however, her left-footed strike was just too high of the goal.

The game was almost out of sight for Burch’s side as Fitzgerald turned home a neat cross, however, the linesman’s flag went up to deny the forward her second goal of the game.

The Lionesses’ kept pushing for a third and they almost had it though Ylenia Priest. The centre back rose highest from a corner kick, but couldn’t steer her header on target as it narrowly missed the crossbar.

Evie Clark forced Quantrill into a flurry of late saves before Aaron Farmer brought an end to proceedings – City Lionesses’ running out 2-0 victors.

The bees now look ahead to Blackburn Rovers Ladies next Sunday at Bamber Bridge.