Two first-half goals from Ally Hall denied Chichester City the points at the Butts Park Arena as they were beaten 3-1 by Coventry in the WPL southern division.
Helen Dermody provided the perfect corners for Hall twice within two minutes and the striker head home.
Chichester got an early goal in the second half through Jade Widdows but the comeback was shortlived as Hall completed her hat-trick.
There were several changes to the Chichester starting 11. Ellis Bloomfield, Jenna Fowlie, Jess Lewry and Widdows were all selected with Poppy Shine replacing the unavailable Sadie Blakely.
Chichester had to grow into the game on a pitch that looked like it had seen better days with Coventry playing on the same surface as three other sporting teams.
The early chances were for the home side, Emma Alexandre blocking well before Bloomfield and Shine were called into action a minute later.
Tash Stephens and Widdows had great efforts inside the 18-yard box but both were well-blocked by the Coventry defence as they got bodies in front of the ball.
Shine made two great saves within minutes of each to deny United, the second a great palmed saved that tipped the ball over the crossbar.
United broke the deadlock on 20 minutes, Hall on her own in the box from Dermody’s corner to head home. Two minutes later Hall doubled the lead with a repeat of her first goal from another Dermody corner.
The second half started better for City as Stephens fought hard to break free of two defenders, setting up Widdows, who was on her own in the box. The striker kept her calm as she found the net, reducing the deficit within 30 seconds of the restart.
Chichester tried to use Stephens’ speed again, but Coventry made a crucial tackle with the winger eyeing up the goal.
Despite the visitors’ best efforts, United found a third to restore the two-goal advantage as Chichester looked to clear their lines, but the ball smashed into Hall’s face and into the goal.
Chichester had chances through Lewry and Alexandre the ball dropping right in front of goal, but neither could find the net with red shirts blocking the way.
Stephens started to find herself in more attacking positions but Chichester couldn’t find a way past the Coventry backline.
The attacking midfielder had two late efforts at goal – her first was blocked for a corner, the second grazed the crossbar.
Chichester, despite a battling performance, returned home empty-handed.
Up next are five home games – starting with the visit of bottom side Swindon Town this Sunday.