Coach Derek Anderson was disappointed to see Aberdeen Women exit the Sky Sports Cup in the second round following a 6-2 defeat to Hibernian.
At Meadowbank, Jordan Baucom put Hibs in the lead after eight minutes through a penalty, before a quickfire brace from teenager Darcie Miller put the Dons 2-1 up.
It was 2-2 at half-time though as Poppy Lawson pulled the home side level with a strike inside the box.
The Hibees impressed in the second half as goals from Abbie Ferguson, Baucom and Siobhan Hunter and Lawson secured a 6-2 win and progression into the next round of the League Cup.
Aberdeen coach Anderson, who led the team in manager Clint Lancaster’s absence, said: “It is disappointing, especially when we go into half-time at 2-2.
“I thought we were going to go in at 2-1 and the girls have told me they think the ball was out of play (before Lawson’s equaliser), but we don’t play to the whistle and Hibs have caught us off guard.
“When they equalise just before half-time, psychologically I think that has had an impact on us coming into the second half.
“But I thought in the second half we dug in and had good spells, but to concede like we did in such quick time is difficult to recover from. It ended up being too big a challenge for us to come back from in the second half.”
The Dons had eight players aged 18 or younger feature against Hibs, with four starting and four coming on from the bench, which Anderson believes is a positive to take from the defeat.
He added: “We had a lot of youth out there this afternoon and they all gave a good account of themselves.
“It just shows what we’re building here and there is a strong foundation for the future. It’s a testament to the club and the pathway with Aberdeen FC Ladies.
“Phoebe (Murray) started again today in midfield at only 15 years of age and was fantastic.
“The squad have a boss in Clint who believes in them and we all have the ambition to build for the future.”
End to end stuff in Edinburgh
Aberdeen had the first chance inside the opening minute as former Don Mya Christie lost possession to Hannah Innes, before the ball fell to Hannah Stewart who dragged her shot wide.
Hibs goalkeeper Katie Fraine had almost been caught out at the back, and she again gifted the Dons an opportunity, but she recovered to collect Eva Thomson’s floated strike.
Despite those early chances, Hibs were gifted the opener from the penalty spot when Jess Broadrick clipped the heels of Lauren Doran-Barr in the box.
Baucom, who scored a hat-trick last time out against Aberdeen, sent goalkeeper Annalisa McCann the wrong way from the spot and made it 1-0.
Miller, who was making her first senior start for the Dons, did the hard bit by rounding Fraine after receiving the ball from a long pass, but the 17-year-old forward then took the ball too wide and her heavy second touch ran the ball out of play.
Hibs’ best chance to double their advantage came from an acrobatic effort from Baucom. Shannon McGregor burst down the right flank and found the forward in the box, who saw her bicycle kick drop just wide of the post.
The Dons went close to pulling level when Chloe Gover hit a superb free-kick from just outside the box, but her effort was matched by a fantastic save from Fraine.
But Hibs failed to clear their lines from the resulting corner and the ball eventually found its way to Miller, who slotted the ball home to make it 1-1 in the 35th minute.
Miller bagged her brace only three minutes later with a fantastic curling strike which soared beyond Fraine and into the top corner.
The home side pulled level following a free-kick as Siobhan Hunter put the ball back into the box from the byline to find Lawson, who fired a powerful strike into the bottom corner.
Hibs scored their third of the afternoon only six minutes after the restart when Ferguson linked up well with Baucom, and the former beat McCann to make it 3-2.
Baucom got her second with a close-range finish beyond McCann in the 62nd minute, before Hunter added another three minutes later with a header at the back post following a corner.
The Dons created very little after the interval, with their best chance coming when substitute Bayley Hutchison squared the ball to Francesca Ogilvie, who saw her powerful strike blocked by Hibs skipper Ellis Notley.
Hibs were pushing for more as McCann made a good stop to deny Eilidh Adams, before Brooke Nunn hit the side-netting after some nice build-up play.
And the home side did get their sixth as Aberdeen failed to clear their lines from a corner, with the ball eventually finding Lawson, who become the third player of the afternoon to net a double.