THE Town Ladies returned to league action after a four-week break but couldn’t get back to winning ways as they were beaten 2-1 at Fairford by Exeter City in the South West Combination League.

Town’s defence withstood the early pressure from Exeter but as the half wore on the home side began to get their game together creating a number of openings.

A Beth Thompson corner caused a scramble in the Exeter goalmouth and the ball broke to Georgia Walters whose low shot was saved by City keeper Maxine Coupe.

City responded to that near miss with Sara Moreira - making her League debut in the Town’s goal - doing well to tip Lola Sanchez’s 25-yard drive round the post for a corner.

Town were still on top as Thompson played Amy Baker clear but Coupe made a brave save at the striker’s feet.

Michelle Rich had Coupe back in action soon after, the City goalie saving her low shot by the post.

Walters went close on two further occasions. Firstly she looked to be clear but a well timed challenge by Josie Copp prevented the Town attacker from shooting. Walters did test Coupe shortly after, the City keeper saving from Swindon striker’s free-kick.

Thompson and Walters combined again soon after. Thompson slipping the ball on to Walters who, with the keeper off her line, lobbed the ball goal-wards but saw it drop just over the bar.

Exeter made Town pay for the wastefulness in the 57th minute. Town gave the ball away in midfield and Helen Kukor ran clear to beat the advancing Moreira.

Baker did pull Town level five minutes later from Walters lay-off but Exeter regained the lead in the 65th minute. Catherine Wright driving home a free kick past Moreira.

Sanchez almost increased Exeter’s lead but her shot smacked against the Town upright.

Swindon threw everything forward in search of an equaliser. City full-back Corine Potts did well to prevent Sally Butterfield breaking clear and then the Town wide player almost levelled after good work by Chyna Collings.

Ultimately Town paid for their profligacy in-front of goal as Exeter proved more clinical.