Substitute Leanne Bell’s late strike earned lowly Watford a huge win away at Lewes in the FA Women’s Championship.

Bell, introduced early in the second half, drilled the ball into the corner of the net with just under ten minutes to play to give the visitors their first win of the season.

Lewes made the perfect start when striker Freda Ayisi’s effort deflected beyond Georgie Ferguson in the Watford goal and into the bottom corner.

But the visitors were level shortly afterwards following clever work from Adekite Fatuga-Dada in the penalty area, which drew a foul.

Emma Beckett stepped up and despite a hand from goalkeeper Tatiana Saunders, her penalty found the back of the net to bring the Golden Girls level.

Clinton Lancaster’s side seemed to have renewed confidence after getting level and

Fatuga-Dada, a constant threat to the Lewes backline, very nearly put them in front, only for Saunders to make an excellent save at her near post.

Lewes hadn’t yet lost at the Dripping Pan this season, and had chances themselves in an end-to-end first half, Ayisi nearly getting a second only to see her effort kept out by Ferguson.

Isobel Dalton also went close for the hosts, seeing an effort from distance crash back off the crossbar.

The second period struggled for rhythm with Watford intent on making it difficult for the hosts to build sustained pressure.

They then produced a sucker-punch late on when Bell fired past Saunders to give her side a priceless win.

After the match, Lancaster told the club website that there was still plenty of work for Watford to do this season.

“I’m overjoyed with that. It’s been a long time coming, but we knew we were getting there over the last few weeks," he said.

“There are things that we’ll probably recognise when we look back, and think that we can still do better. Even if you win, you can always improve.

“Overall the performance was excellent, everybody worked really hard. We’re going to take a lot of positives from it, but we know we’ve still got some work to do.”