There was disappointment for Liverpool Ladies as they bowed out of the Women's FA Cup following a 2-0 defeat to Everton at the Select Security Stadium on Saturday night.
First half goals from Nikita Parris and Alex Greenwood condemned the ladies to defeat at the quarter-final stage of the competition on a night where star striker Natasha Dowie was starved of any real service.
The Reds, who were without first-choice goalkeeper Libby Stout and winger Kate Longhurst due to concussion and knee ligament injuries respectively, were forced into a reshuffle with Danielle Gibbons and Ashley Hodson taking their places in the side.
In what was a cagey opening to this all-Merseyside tie, it was the Blues who took the lead on 11 minutes after a swift counter-attack in which Parris stormed down the left hand side before slotting past Gibbons.
The Reds' squandered a great chance just five minutes later after a neat through ball by Lucy Bronze presented Amanda Da Costa with an opportunity to equalise. However her curled effort just inside the box flew wide of the post.
Moments later after Gemma Davison was fouled on the edge of the box, Fara Williams' free kick came agonisingly close with her attempt which hit the side netting.
With Everton closing down Dowie and Davison at any given moment, Liverpool were reduced to attempts from long range.
However the Blues doubled their advantage on 31 minutes. After a cleared corner, the ball was hooked back into the box by captain Michelle Hinnigan before being headed on by Greenwood to leave Liverpool with a mountain to climb.
Two nearly became three five minutes later when Everton managed to evade the offside trap, however Jody Handley scuffed her effort wide.
In the second half, the visitors shut up shop and made life difficult for Matt Beard's side who struggled to gain a foothold on the game.
Ten minutes in, a ball over the top by Lucy Bronze found Katrin Omarsdottir who swivelled inside the box before her attempt was well blocked by Gabby George.
Slowly but surely, the home side tried to apply more pressure and on 63 minutes a run down the left hand side from Dowie resulted in the striker's cross finding substitute Claudia Walker. However her effort from just outside the box lacked any real power and was comfortably held by Blues goalkeeper Rachel Brown-Finnis.
Seven minutes before the end, Bronze was somewhat fortunate to stay on the pitch after she brought down goal scorer Parris as she bore down on goal. With few complaints Bronze was shown a yellow card.
Despite a late rally from Liverpool, there was to be no comeback as they exited a competition in which they reached the semi-finals last year. They'll be hoping for revenge as the two teams meet again in Widnes on Wednesday night in the Continental Cup (Kick-off 6.30pm BST).
Reflecting on the defeat, a frustrated boss Matt Beard told Liverpoolfc.com: "I thought the players were complacent which was disappointing because before the game we warned them not to be complacent.
"We've got to give Everton a lot of credit. They wanted it more than us in the first half and I have to say the best team won on the night.
"Fortunately we have a chance to put things right when we play them again on Wednesday night."
Liverpool Ladies: Danielle Gibbons, Fara Williams, Gemma Bonner (c), Lucy Bronze, Katrin Omarsdottir, Natasha Dowie, Gemma Davison, Becky Easton (Ellie Stewart 80), Amanda Da Costa, Corina Schroder (Megan Alexander 80), Ashley Hodson (Claudia Walker 58). Unused subs: Gemma Jackson, Hannah Dale.