Everton Women’s winning start to 2020/21 came to an end after a narrow 3-1 loss in their opening Continental Cup group clash at holders Manchester City on Wednesday night.
After five wins from their first five matches of the season, the Blues looked set for more glory after a first-half opener from club captain Dan Turner at the Academy Stadium.
But City came back after the break with goals from Rose Lavelle, former Everton forward Chloe Kelly and Jess Park to take advantage in a group that also features Liverpool and Manchester United.
Tinja-Riikka Korpela, starting in goal for Everton, was called into action early on to deny Kelly on two occasions.
That proved vital as the Blues went ahead on 20 minutes when a well-worked move down the right allowed Turner to tap home at the back post.
City knocked on the door in search of a leveller but were denied by resolute Everton defending, with Meg Finnigan doing well to clear a dangerous cross by Park.
The hosts continued to pile on the pressure in the second half and that told in the end as Lavelle met Alex Greenwood’s corner at the near post to level.
Everton responded well and were unlucky not to retake the lead when substitute Valerie Gauvin saw her shot tipped around the post by keeper Karen Bardsley.
But as the contest opened up, City hit the winner 13 minutes from time as Kelly tapped in Georgia Stanway’s right-wing cross, before Park smashed home from a tight angle to net the third in injury-time.
Everton are back in WSL action on Sunday when they host West Ham United at Walton Hall Park, 1pm kick-off.