Indies Ladies came from behind three times to level a highly-entertaining contest at Footes Lane, but were unable to come up with a response to the reds’ fourth goal that made it three wins from three for Jules Bousfield’s side.
In contrast to the joyous victors who have established an early lead at the top of the table, due to having a first-week bye followed by a postponement, this was a first competitive outing of the season for the champions and they can take plenty of positives from their performance even if they came away without any points from a 4-3 defeat.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, it was Amazons who were quicker into their stride and they opened the scoring in the fourth minute when Kirsty Davison was on hand to turn the ball in from a few yards out after Laura Cashin had played the ball into the D.
The source of the first Indies equaliser came as no surprise as Island forward Bianca Symes made the most of their first short-corner to drill a low shot into the bottom corner on 7min.
She very nearly repeated the dose moments later at their next ‘short’ but this time her effort flashed just the wrong side of the post.
It had become an even and intriguing contest by this stage with Ellen Castleman and Cashin equally industrious for their respective sides in midfield while Symes and Mali Smith were proving a threat to the opposition defences.
It was up-and-coming junior Smith who gave Amazons the lead for a second time on 24min., although even she was left smiling at her good fortune.
The build-up, which involved Jayne Carter and Katy Taylor, was deserving of a goal, but as Smith set up for a shot on the reverse from the edge of the D, no-one was expecting the resultant miscue that sent the ball looping high over a helpless Helena Duguid and just under the crossbar.
Thanks to Symes, though, Indies were level once again by half-time.
While her first goal came via power, her second was through subtlety as she used excellent control to drive to the byline near to the goal and then switched back inside before swiftly slotting the ball in before any defender could react.
As the teams went into the interval, both had reason to come out confident for the second half, but again it was Amazons who struck next.
The goal came from a short-corner which turned into a bit of a goalmouth scramble with the ball eventually creeping over the line almost in slow-motion and Claire Frizell was the player credited with the all-important final touch.
If that was a scrappy goal, the third Indies equaliser was the polar opposite.
They had already forced a succession of short-corners as they searched for another reply, which had been well defended by Amazons, before Lauren Ewins received the ball with her back to goal just inside the opposition’s half with quarter-of-an-hour remaining.
She turned and then embarked on a dazzling run up the centre of the pitch, leaving defenders trailing in her wake and then using Symes as a decoy as she entered the D before taking the ball past the keeper and slotting home – an outstanding individual effort.
Indies were perhaps guilty of still being on cloud nine in the immediate aftermath of that moment of magic because within a minute they were behind for the fourth time – and this time it was decisive.
For an agonising split second, Katy Taylor was not sure if her shot was going to cross the line after it hit the post, but it did and Amazons were ahead once more.
The action was end-to-end in the final 13 minutes, but it was Amazons who came closest to adding to their tally, with Duguid making a fine double save to deny Taylor and Frizell.
A two-goal margin would have been harsh on Indies, though, in such a close contest.