Pompey Ladies’ four-match winning run came skidding to a halt as they suffered a heavy defeat to title-chasing Crystal Palace.
It was the Blues’ first home fixture for four months, although the contest took place at Littlehampton, rather than their usual Westleigh Park venue.
And they got off to a disastrous start, with Gemma Bryan stealing the ball from Amelia Southgate to open the scoring in the very first minute.
But the hosts recovered from that and began to find their feet, with Katie James sending one effort wide, while a second was deflected past the post.
Palace doubled their advantage midway through the first half, however, as a corner caused chaos in the box and Ellie Bailes capitalised to head home.
They immediately had a chance to add another when Robyn Levett brought down Bryan in the box and the striker made no mistake from the spot.
It looked to be all over at the interval, although Pompey kept battling away in search of a route back into the game.
Shannon Sievwright nodded over from a corner, while Charley Boswell fired narrowly off target and Rachel Panting drew a save from Megen Lynch.
The Eagles were still looking dangerous themselves, though, and Freya Holdaway was left in space to head against the crossbar, before Levett denied Bailes.
And they added to the scoring on 69 minutes, with Bryan completing her hat-trick after latching onto Bailes’ pass, cutting inside and stroking the ball into the net.
Pompey kept plugging away in search of a consolation, but Palace saw out the closing stages to secure a comfortable victory.
Blues boss Jay Sadler said: “We win together and lose together – but always together. We must now maintain focus and continue to work hard during the final part of the season.
His Palace counterpart Dean Davenport added: “Credit should go to Jay and his team. They play some neat possession football and are very hard working.”
Pompey: Levett; Kirby (Capel-Watson 73), Southgate, Currie, Peck; Sievwright; Panting, James (McLachlan 73), Boswell, Albuery; Quayle
Subs not used: Burns, Perkins, May