St Ives Town Ladies suffered a frustrating start to the new season last Sunday when seeing victory turn into defeat.

Darren Marjoram's side succumbed to two set-piece goals in the final seven minutes when falling to a 3-2 defeat at Bowers & Pitsea in their Eastern Region Women's League Premier Division debut.

The reigning Division One champions had looked set to announce their arrival in the fifth tier of the female game with victory until conceding twice from set pieces in the closing stages.

They had earlier fallen behind in the seventh minute and an outstanding save from Saints keeper Sophie Marjoram denied the Essex hosts another breakthrough in the opening half.

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But Saints seized the initiative with two goals in the space of six minutes early in the second period.

Sasha Smith struck with a high-class free kick to level before captain Ruth Fox tucked away a cross from debutant Abbi Griffin to fire them ahead.

Only some terrific goalkeeping prevented further goals for Saints and that proved crucial when the hosts equalised with a free-kick before settling the contest from a corner.

Saints will aim to collect their first points of the season when hosting Peterborough Northern Star at Westwood Road this Sunday, 2pm.