London City Lionesses were edged out on Sunday after a superb second-half goal from Olivia Fergusson settled a lively encounter in Sheffield United’s favour.
Katie Wilkinson, who had shot straight at Lionesses keeper Lucy Thomas early on, put the Blades ahead after eight minutes.
The in-form Sheffield United set the pace in the early stages and deserved their lead, which they could have extended but for Thomas, who made saves from Aimee Palmer and Alethea Paul.
That kept us in it at the break and we looked a different side in the opening stages of the second half, the tone set by a great run and shot from player of the match Ellie Mason.
Blades keeper Leandra Little then denied Vanessa Susanna but we equalised from the resulting corner, Vyan Sampson turning in her first goal for the club from close range.
The Lionesses put more pressure on but failed to make the most of it and suffered a setback 15 minutes from time when Fergusson glided forward from the halfway line and bent the ball beyond Thomas.
There was still time for us to mount challenges from set pieces late on but the visitors held on.
Afterwards, Lionesses wing-back Leanne Cowan said: “Everyone’s really disappointed but when we look back there are positives we can take from it.
“We were doing the press, but we weren’t aggressive enough. We had to really try and get around the ball rather than just standing there, and I think we were more aggressive second half.
“We scored from a set-piece and we’re always looking to be dangerous on set-pieces, we just need to work on our end product.”
London City Lionesses: Thomas; Short, Sampson, Mason; Fitzgerald, Wilson, Fyfe (Ejupi 63), Bennett, Cowan (Ayisi 90); Kemppi, Susanna (Clarke 76). Subs not used: Mackie, Priest.