An L1 Cup first round double-header was hosted by Aurora United Football Club at Sheppard's Bush, and it began successfully for the hosts as the women's team sunk Darby FC 1-0 courtesy of a Soumaya Bouak (36') goal in the first half.
The match at times reflected the anxieties of a single knockout Cup competition, with players at times rushing or inappropriately weighting passes.
"I think what we take away from the game today is that unfortunately we never really found our game," said Derby head coach, Mirco Schroff.
"We had a lot of trouble today with the surface or the ball, and touches were off and our pass completion was too low. I thought Aurora was very good at containing us in our own half and not allowing us to create a lot of transition to attacking play."
Aurora showed a growing tactical maturity, seeing out the match with solid defense after gaining the advantage of the first half goal. Bouak cut in from the left wing to fire a shot over the diving Darby keeper.
"I think it was a good game, the girls did what we asked them to do," said Aurora head coach, Ramin Mohammadi.
"The second half was an average game, we wanted to defend the goal and they wanted to strike the goal and that's why we've tried to manage and see out the full ninety minutes."
Aurora will now hit the road for the second round of the L1 Cup, heading to FC London's home ground, the German Canadian FC Stadium (a.k.a "The Cove") for a June 22 fixture.
"Our girls some of them are coming out of the pressure of the first game, and now we have a tough game coming up versus FC London," said Mohammadi. "That's alright, that's the game."
Darby will now have no choice but to focus on league play, growing into a competition that is still new for the club in their first year as League1 licensee, and moving forward with overall team development.
"I think overall it is a fair result today," said Schroff. "It is an adjustment for most of our players, and some of them are inexperienced at this level of play."
"We have noticed in both our first game and again today that there is some naive behaviour at times that we need to overcome either tactically or technically with our experience - and that experience will build with time of course."