A 6-1 defeat against fourth-division opponents Norton Ladies capped off a difficult afternoon on the road for South Shields Women.
Sophie Greener opened the scoring in the eighth minute for the Mariners when she got to the end of Monica Innes’ headed deflection, which fell perfectly in her path.
A lot of lessons were learned on the occasion, as Norton unlocked Shields time and time again, drawing even before taking the lead, and adding another before the break.
Upon the restart Norton quickly grabbed their fourth and before long created their fifth and, later, sixth goals.
Shields did start brightly, however, with chances falling to the goalscoring Greener as well as talisman Gatens, who tried her luck from distance in the first half.
After the break there were moments to reflect back on, such as Meg Archbold's delivery from a free-kick perfectly aimed at Jade Dryden, who was just unable to poke it past the Norton keeper.
These spells of confidence bode well for the competitive campaign starting next week and this continued even as the weather turned torrential during the interval.
But all in all, it was an afternoon to forget against tougher opposition and focus sharply turns to what's coming next.
The lasses will be looking to put things right next Sunday when Spennymoor Town come to visit in the NERWFL League Cup (2pm kick-off).
More details will be relayed closer to matchday for any supporters wishing to cheer the team on.
South Shields: Gowans, Innes, May, Archbold, Greener, Legg, Gatens, Wootten, McMahon, Norton, Taylor.