Rovers Ladies slipped to their first Premier League defeat of the year at the hands of Stoke City.
Gemma Donnelly’s in-form side had not lost a league match since October, but two late goals condemned them to defeat at Clayton Wood Training Ground.
Following a tight first-half, Rovers took the lead shortly before the hour mark when Sophie Jones smashed home Vicky Westerman’s pull back.
However, the game was turned on its head after two debatable refereeing decisions in eight minutes.
The hosts were awarded a soft free-kick on 70 minutes and Cassie Hyde rose highest to power a header home.
Stoke were ahead soon after in similar fashion when another free-kick from the right was this time nodded home by Kate Asher.
Manager Donnelly said: “It was a disappointing result, but a couple of key decisions didn’t go our way.
“We were down to the bare bones, with several players out with niggles and knocks, so we were very stretched, but that’s no excuse. I couldn’t fault the work rate, but there was a distinct lack of quality in our game.
“Missed chances proved costly and Stoke’s pressure eventually told with two late goals. We were flat and hopefully this is the wake-up call we needed before Monday’s Lancashire Cup final.”
ROVERS: Hutcheson, Westerman, Taylor, Shepherd, Shaw, Bourne, Fleming, Holbrook, Jones, Boyle and Sheen.