Everton Women captain Meg Finnigan said the overall feeling in the dressing room was one of disappointment as the Blues fell to defeat on the opening day of the WSL season at home to Brighton & Hove Albion.
The Blues’ skipper second half goal proved the only consolation as an Elisabeth Terland double was enough to secure all three points for the Seagulls.
But Finnigan has urged her teammates to move on quickly, with Leicester City next up for the Toffees.
“The overriding feeling is major disappointment,” she said. “We conceded two really sloppy goals.
“Second half was a lot better, a lot of positives to take from it, but when you start a game as slowly as we did, then we gave ourselves a big mountain to climb.
“We created good chances, but we couldn’t convert them,” she continued. “It happened too many times last season, it can’t happen again.”
“The game’s done. We can only reflect on it and take the positives.”
Brighton took early command of the game and were ahead as early as the third minute. Katie Robinson’s strike was pushed onto the crossbar by Emily Ramsey, only for the rebound to land perfectly for Terland, who made no mistake from close range.
And the forward added her second ten minutes later when she met Robinson’s through ball to give Brighton a two-goal lead.
Everton rallied and nearly found a response on 24 minutes. Nicoline Sorensen rattled the crossbar from close range with Brighton keeper Sophie Baggaley beaten.
New signing Martina Piemonte also looked lively and tested the Brighton rearguard on a couple of occasions.
But it was Finnigan who finally beat the Seagulls’ stopper on 65 minutes. The 25-year-old collected Hanna Bennison’s corner before turning a low shot into the bottom corner to give the hosts a lifeline.
Brian Sorensen’s side pushed for an equaliser but the visitors were able to hold on for all three points.
Everton will have little time to ponder on the defeat with a trip to the King Power Stadium this Sunday, 8 October, to face Leicester City (3pm BST).