Watford Ladies were knocked out of this season’s FA Women's Cup following a 4-1 loss at Sunderland on Sunday.
The damage was done in the first half, with the hosts scoring all four of their goals in the opening 45 minutes.
However, credit went to the Golden Girls for a spirited second-half performance, which saw Kate Natkiel pull one back for the visiting team.
Manager John Salomon had mixed feelings about the performance, both crediting the display after the break and lamenting what happened in the opening 45 minutes.
"At half-time there was a lot that needed to be discussed in the dressing room," he said.
"At full-time, players were going and saying well done to each other because they were proud of their second half performance.
"We gave ourselves too much of a mountain to climb but there’s a lot of positives that have come from that second half. There’s a lot of lessons that the players will learn."
Despite the first-half scoreline, the first chance of the match fell to Watford; Bonnie Horwood volleying over the bar following a cleared free-kick.
But Sunderland opened scoring soon after, with Gemma Wilson heading in, with a little help from the post.
As the match continued, the hosts looked to extend their lead, and only some strong keeping from Shayla Burgess denied them in the opening stages.
Sunderland struck next just as their opponents were enjoying a strong period of possession; McDougall picking out Beth Mead, who made no mistake in powering her effort home.
A couple of minutes later it was 3-0. Mead this time turned provider as she played in Abbey Joice, Burgess got a hand to her effort but couldn’t keep it out.
Sunderland added a fourth just before half-time as Mead grabbed her second, turning in a Rebekah Bass cross.
The second period showed a different side to the Golden Girls, as they looked to mount an unlikely comeback. Emma Beckett went close from 20 yards before Natkiel got her goal from the edge of the box as Sunderland progressed to a fifth-round tie with Liverpool Ladies.
Watford: Burgess, Mays (Mosengo, 46), Gunn, Hector (Green, 77), Butterwick, Rowell, Beckett, Natkiel, Horwood, Wynne, Wiltshire.