After three wins on the spin, Harrogate Town Ladies suffered a first league defeat of 2018/19 when they visited Durham Cestria.
Jon Maloney's team travelled north for Sunday's North East Regional Women’s Premier Division clash with just 11 fully-fit players and missing a recognised goalkeeper.
They battled hard to stay in the game for 70 minutes, but eventually tired and their hosts pulled clear in the closing stages, emerging victorious by a 7-2 scoreline.
"It was just one of those days, I don't want to make excuses but we only had a bare 11, so in the end we ran out of steam and Durham ran away with the game," Maloney said.
"We hung in there with them and it was 2-2 after 65 minutes. They went 3-2 up and we had a great chance to pull level again but didn't take it and after that the fresh legs they had from being able to bring on substitutions told.
"We had a lot of girls unavailable and this was probably the one game of the season where we needed not be under-strength because of the quality Durham have. They only lost once in the league last season.
"Despite the result, I can't fault any of the players. They couldn't have done any more on the day, and this is an experience that I'm sure they'll learn from."
Durham took a 1-0 advantage into the interval, though Town were back on terms just 30 seconds into the second period when Grace Adams netted directly from a corner.
The hosts re-claimed the lead, but Maloney's charges again came back, Grace Foyer heading home a Lindsey Whitton free-kick.
Durham went 3-2 up after 65 minutes, however Sophie Tinson had the chance to net a third equaliser almost immediately, only to see her strike go narrowly the wrong side of the post following a goalkeeping error.
The last 20 minutes saw Town tire and the home team took full advantage, netting a further four times without reply.
The Harrogate ladies will be looking to bounce back when they entertain Farsley Celtic on Sunday, 2pm kick-off at the CNG Stadium.