BELLES’ spirited performance at newly-crowned Super League champions Arsenal was not enough to prevent defeat - and set-up a tense final day of the season.
John Buckley’s side must now avoid defeat at Liverpool on Sunday to avoid finishing bottom of the FA WSL.
The Gunners were in relaxed mood at Boreham Wood as they went into the game already crowned champions after title rivals Birmingham could only draw with Bristol earlier on Sunday afternoon.
And their celebrations received something of a helping hand by Belles who put through their own net twice during an otherwise evenly contested first half.
Defender Lyndsey Cunningham’s unfortunate own goal broke the deadlock before Irish international Aine O’Gorman fired the visitors level from long range.
Tanya Oxtoby then headed into her own net before the break before Kelly Smith came off the bench and made it three in the closing stages.
But, in-keeping with the pattern of the game, Belles refused to lie down and Leandra Little reduced the deficit when another O’Gorman strike from distance was spilled by Gunners keeper Emma Byrne.
Victory for bottom club Liverpool against Doncaster on Sunday would see the Reds leapfrog Belles into seventh spot.