Rovers Ladies were narrowly defeated 3-2 by Sheffield United Women in a close encounter at Bamber Bridge.
Saffron Jordan had opened the scoring before Chloe Dixon, Katie Wilkinson and Jade Pennock netted for United.
Natasha Flint scored what proved to be a late consolation goal as Rovers were condemned to a fourth straight defeat.
It was an entertaining start to the game with both keepers tested early on. Danielle Hill kept out Dixon with a finger tip save after Jordan was denied by Becky Flaherty in the Sheffield goal.
Rovers then took the lead on 18 minutes. Alex Taylor did the hard yards down the left before her cross found Jordan, who clinically finished, finding the bottom corner from inside the box.
But the visitors were level within a minute. Dixon’s turn and shot in the box flew past Hill and ensured Rovers were only in front for a brief period.
The equaliser didn’t dampen Rovers’ spirits and the lively Taylor almost grabbed a goal of her own when she raced down the left and caught Flaherty off guard with an early shot – but the keeper managed to get a fingertip on the ball to turn it behind.
Sheffield came out of the blocks quickly in the second-half and immediately forced Hill into a save as she claimed Dixon’s powerful drive.
At the other end, Flaherty continued to thwart Rovers as she held Natasha Fenton’s free-kick and came out to claim dangerous crosses from Taylor and Rhema Lord-Mears.
Sheffield took the lead against the run of play when substitute Wilkinson beat the offside trap and headed past Hill.
And they would increase their advantage late on. Pinnock tapped in from close range to secure all three points.
Substitute Flint smashed in a consolation deep into stoppage time on her return from injury, but it wasn’t enough for the Blues to take anything from the game.
Next up is Sunday’s trip to Coventry United in the Continental Cup Group Stage.
ROVERS: Hill, Jukes (Montgomery 84), Taylor, Holbrook, Davies (Flint 77), Fenton, Jordan (c), Lord-Mears (McDaniel 65), McDonald, Fletcher, Stewart.
Unused subs: Pearson, Redman.
Referee: Lucy Oliver