On a chilly afternoon in North Nottinghamshire, the Stagettes made the worst possible start as Copsewood took the lead thanks to a great chip-finish by Jodie McGuckin on three minutes.
Abiyola Riley blazed over as the visitors threatened to score again, before Suzy Gelson screwed an attempt well wide in the Stagettes’ first chance.
Copsewood doubled their lead when Sarah Rowles volleyed home, after Emma Horsnall could only parry a free-kick into the area by McGuckin.
Matters went from bad to worse on 24 minutes, when Riley raced onto a long goal-kick and duly slotted beyond Horsnall in a one-on-one.
The table-topping visitors continued to create chances and Natalie Dean thought she had made it 4-0, but her 20-yard effort was ruled out for offside.
Nevertheless, Copsewood soon made it 4-0, albeit in controversial circumstances, as Stacey Bridge brought down Riley outside the area, but a penalty was awarded.
After a long delay due to protests from infuriated Stagettes players, Sarah Rowles stepped up and sent Horsnall the wrong way with a calm spot-kick.
Before the interval, Leona McCook jinked her way past two markers and fired over, whilst Melissa Kennedy twice went close as Copsewood were unable to add more goals.
The Stagettes came out fighting after the re-start and nearly reduced arrears when Abbey Hawkins hit a speculative long-range shot, which fell just wide of the target.
Charlotte Montgomery also capitalised on a defensive mistake and came agonisingly close to a consolation, but her low drive was blocked by the Copsewood keeper.
Having shown plenty of fighting spirit, grit and determination the Stagettes went close again on 67 minutes when Hannah Bodle’s attempt was headed off the line by Zoe Woodcock.
In another attack, Georgina Unthank was just off-target with an effort from the edge of the area, following some great hold-up work by Bodle.
With 12 minutes remaining, Emma Allen went close with a bullet header from Becky Braithwaite’s long free-kick, which flew just wide of the right-hand post.
Ultimately, there was no consolation goal, but the Stagettes can take encouragement from their spirited second half performance.