London Bees ran the league leaders all the way but lost out to a ruthless Aston Villa side who remain unbeaten in the FA Women’s Championship.

Lauren Pickett’s leveller on the stroke of half time looked to have snatched a point for Lee Burch’s side, but a late Emma Follis free kick gave the Villains all three points.

The opening 20 minutes was a cagey affair, with the visitors dominating the possession without creating a clear opening. The Bees too looked to get in the right positions but the final ball just wouldn’t fall to an amber shirt.

Midway through the first half, the visitors took the lead as West ghosted in at the back post from a corner to tap home and give Villa the advantage.

The league leaders continued to dominate and would’ve been two goals to the good, but for Sarah Quantrill who saved well at the feet of Sophie Haywood.

It wasn’t all one-way traffic however, Lauren Pickett saw a deflected strike well stopped by Sian Rogers as the Bees looked to get back on level terms.

Haywood was in again but yet again it was Quantrill who denied her as she got there just in front of the Villa attacker.

Just on the stroke of half time we were level, as Pickett burst through on goal, before tucking it into the bottom corner, tucking away her 5th league goal of a prolific season.

Into the second half and the first opening fell the way of the visitors as Quantrill had to be alert to tip over a looping effort from the edge of the box.

Up the other end, Nikita Whinnett was lively and saw an effort deflected into the gloves of Rogers. The second half an open affair, the Bees gave everything to take a priceless result.

With 15 minutes to play the visitors retook the lead as Emma Follis struck home from a long range free-kick, it was cruel on Lee Burch’s side just as they looked to build some pressure.

The visitors has more chances towards the end but again Quantrill stood firm to keep her side in the contest. The Bees huffed and puffed but couldn’t quite find that equalising goal on a frustrating afternoon at The Hive London.

Burch’s side will look to build from the lessons learnt from today’s game as they travel to high flyers Sheffield United next Sunday, (2pm KO) in what looks set to be an intruiging match up.

Our next game at The Hive is our last before Christmas as we take on Blackburn Rovers on Sunday 15th December. So please come along and cheer on the Bees in another crucial league match.

Bees: Quantrill, Wilson, Alexander (Whinnett ’57), Robert, Pickett, Horwood, Giddings, Gibson (Nunn ’86), Gamby (Brooks ’86), Hazard, Will.

Unused Subs: West, Finburgh, Dench

ATT: 184