Perth Glory Women has gone down fighting against a determined Melbourne Victory at Ashfield Reserve on Saturday.
Missing several key players due to injury and international duties, Glory battled bravely but ultimately could not stop Victory from registering a 3-1 win and collecting the three points.
Glory went behind after nine minutes when Hayley Raso pounced on a loose ball in the penalty area, but American imports Vanessa DiBernardo and Nikki Stanton continued to create plenty of chances for the home side.
DiBernardo, who scored two goals on debut a fortnight ago, created plenty of headaches for the Victory defence and almost scored twice in the first half.
Victory set-piece specialist Christine Nairn capitalised on a free kick opportunity on the edge of the box and brilliantly curled the ball into the top-left corner to give the visitors a 2-0 lead after 52 minutes.
Stanton, DiBernardo and Shannon May then all had chances in a five-minute frenzy as Bobby Despotovski's side desperately tried to pull one back on the scoresheet.
Substitute Carla Bennett also put the Victory defence under pressure in the second half with her trademark speed in an impressive return from a hamstring injury.
May, playing higher up the pitch than usual, provided Glory with some hope of snatching a point from the match in the 84th minute when she caught Victory goalkeeper Melissa Barbieri off her line, chipping the ball into a vacant goalmouth from 30 yards.
Unfortunately for Glory, Victory substitute Whitney Knight combined with new teammate, England international Natasha Dowie, to score a third and final goal for the visitors and seal the three points.
"We played really good possession and kept the ball away, but our final third needs some work," Glory captain Kim Carroll said.
"We've worked on our passing and we got that right today. We've just got to fine-tune that final third and get a few shots on target."
Glory will look to bounce back against Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium next Sunday and remain in the hunt for a top-four berth.
Matildas pair Caitlin Foord and Mackenzie Arnold will be back from international duty in Korea while defender Danielle Brogan could return after missing Saturday's game with an ankle injury.
"It's a tough competition this season and it's pretty even in that middle bit of the table so hopefully we're still in it with a few games to go," Carroll said.
"We're obviously missing our big name players, but we did have some young girls step in and they did the job well."