Manager Willie Kirk felt Everton Ladies did enough to get something from Wednesday’s 3-1 defeat at home to Birmingham - but was left to rue how his side failed to capitalise on the game's big moments.
Dutch international Inessa Kaagman, celebrating her 23rd birthday, got the Blue Girls off to the perfect start at the Merseyrail Community Stadium when her ninth-minute strike found the back of the net from a tight angle.
Marta Tejedor’s Birmingham hit back almost immediately when Hayley Ladd’s half volley from outside the area gave Kirstie Levell no chance in goal.
England striker Ellen White then took the game away from the hosts after capitalising on two Ladd corners either side of half-time.
Everton had their chances to get back into the match. Aoife Mannion was adjudged to have handled in the area on 73 minutes but Kaagman saw her subsequent penalty saved by Hannah Hampton, before the goalkeeper thwarted substitute Hannah Cain late in injury time.
And Kirk lamented a spirited performance from the Blues Girls going unrewarded.
“We didn’t manage to capitalise on the big moments, which cost us the match," he said. "Giving up the lead that we had worked hard to get so quickly was disappointing. We’ve taken the lead through a really well worked goal but to concede after what was 30 seconds is really hard to take, and then we conceded from the two set pieces.
“We had our chances in the second half to get back into the game and I feel sorry for the players because I thought we did enough to get something from the match. But we need to be better at both ends of the pitch.
“We made about 10 individual mistakes and six or seven of those have cost us, either missed chances or goals conceded, so I think it’s a harsh result on the players.
“It was always going to be a game of who made the least mistakes wins, and that ended up being the case.”
Everton have a short turnaround ahead of their next match. The Blue Girls travel to North London to face Arsenal on Sunday and will be looking to dent the WSL leaders’ titles hopes.