Luton Town Ladies slumped to their first FA Women’s Premier League South East Division One defeat of the season on Sunday, losing 3-1 to hosts Cambridge United.
The Hatters were expecting a tough challenge against the leaders as manager Nikki Baker brought in Jess McKay for Erica Byron.
It was very disappointing. I am really gutted with the performance both defensively and going forward.Nikki Baker
Luton started the game on the back foot, as keeper Jessica Devoti was forced into an early save, before United led on 21 minutes when the unmarked Nicole Perschky nodded home.
The visitors roared back just four minutes later when Michelle Byrne won a free kick 25-yards out and Rachel Kosky fired the set-piece into the roof of the net.
After the interval, Cambridge went 2-1 in front from a corner as Taylor volleyed home.
Nicola Henman came close to equalising just five minutes later only to see her long range effort rattle the bar.
However, Hatters fell further behind on the hour when Mallett’s free kick from the edge of the box beat Devoti.
Baker made three substitutions which saw the return of experienced midfielder Shanice Jiminez but Cambridge continued to dominate and may have scored again before the full time whistle after a host of dangerous attacks created by Laura Mills.
Afterwards, Baker said: “It was very disappointing. I am really gutted with the performance both defensively and going forward.
“We didn’t do basics well, we couldn’t pass the ball, we forced the ball forward and didn’t pick up players.
“I think we were a bit better in the first half than the second, but overall we were very poor and I am really disappointed.
“We didn’t play to the game plan and this frustrated me beyond belief.
“Every loss is going to have an impact when you are trying to get promoted. I am more frustrated at the way we lost than the result.
“There is of course still a long way to go and loads of points to play for so we will have to dig in and rebuild”.
The result means that Town drop to fourth with a game in hand and are now not in action until they play Enfield Town on Sunday, October 2.