There will be no Wembley dream for Liverpool Ladies this season after they lost 3-1 to Birmingham City in the Women's FA Cup fifth round on Sunday.
Natasha Dowie fired a consolation goal for Matt Beard's side, who will now look to bounce back as they begin their Women's Super League title defence against Sunderland on Wednesday night.
An away tie against Birmingham was always going to be tough for the Reds as the Blues ran them desperately close for the title last season.
Playing their first game of the campaign, Beard gave debuts to new recruits Line Smorsgard, Satara Murray and Asisat Oshoala.
The home side made a bright start and Jade Moore fired them in front, only for Dowie to level the match when she headed home following a perfect delivery from Corina Schroder.
Birmingham regained the lead when Jo Potter scored direct from a free-kick, and Liverpool then came close when Oshoala was close to a debut goal with a half-volley just wide of the target.
Liverpool tried to fight back but with five minutes to go the home team wrapped the game up when Remi Allen scored from the penalty spot.
Liverpool Ladies team: Stout, Easton (Ryland), Murray, Bonner, Schroder, Williams, Dale (Zelem), Oshoala, Longhurst, Smorsgard (Rolser), Dowie.
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