Crystal Palace Ladies faced off against league rivals London Bees on Sunday afternoon and, despite Andrea Georgiou's equalising goal providing a moment of excitement in a tight affair that saw few chances arise, fell to a close 2-1 defeat away from home.
The Eagles had comprehensively beaten London Bees at the end of December in the FA WSL Continental Cup but couldn't quite find a foothold in this battle as they competed in tough conditions.
The game began in a balanced fashion, though it was the home side who took the lead within five minutes as Palace were cut open by Brooke Nunn, who played through captain Katie Wilkinson to bury the ball from close range past the new signing, Lucy Gillett, in goal.
The Eagles almost responded immediately when Georgiou found herself 10 yards from the net only to fire over Sarah Quantrill's bar.
The Palace midfielder was, however, rewarded shortly after for her offensive pressure when she picked up the ball in the Bees' box again but this time brought it down well to rifle into the goal, bringing the visitors level as she did.
Frustratingly, though, just four minutes later and the home side found their second and ultimately victorious goal. Lauren Pickett was set free to end up facing only Gillett between the Palace posts before chipping the ball up and over the newly signed shot-stopper, whose fingertips weren't quite enough to glance the effort over.
From this point, the match settled down and became a cagey, physical affair with neither side creating many chances to excite the onlooking crowd.
The closest Palace came for the remainder of the first-half was when Ashlee Hincks' cross flew across the face of goal and clipped the home side's crossbar.
Half-time then came and went and neither side threatened the other until the hour mark struck, when the Bees found themselves squandering a trio of chances. First up was Pickett, whose looped effort flew inches wide of the post.
Pickett again then found herself cursing her luck when she struck at goal only to see Gillett reach high enough to push it over the bar.
Just a minute later and Ruesha Littlejohn was the Bees player to put the ball out of play when, from just six yards out, she hooked it up and over to keep the score at 2-1.
The remainder of the game was largely uneventful until Palace saw a last minute chance to equalise go begging when Nikita Whinnett cracked an effort at goal only for Quantrill to pull off a strong save and retain all three points for London Bees.
Palace: Gillett, McRoberts, Nuttall, Holdaway, Watling (Whinnett), Hincks, Burr, Georgiou, Nash (McKeag), Mackenzie, Bryan.
Subs not used: Butler, Balfour, Green, Chandler.
London Bees: Quantrill, Johnson, Toussaint, Wilkinson, Littlejohn, Pickett (Forman), Gould (O'Leary), Rolandsen, N.Gibson, Nunn (K.Gibson), Will.
Subs not used: Wilson, Dench.