Victoria Williams struck in the second minute with Inessa Kaagman’s penalty doubling the deficit in first-half stoppage time and a third from Danielle Carter pretty made it tough going with Scott Booth's side.
Emma Koivisto and Kayleigh Green added further goals on a testing afternoon for the hosts but Blues battled to the end and created more than the result suggests.
The new Head Coach named no fewer than eight summer signings for the first match back at St Andrew’s. Harriet Scott returned from suspension while Cecilie Sandvej was available for her Blues debut after injury. There were four changes in all from the 1-0 opening day defeat at Tottenham as Scott, Sandvej, Jamie Finn and Eleanor Ryan-Doyle all came in.
Hopes of a flying start were dealt a swift blow when Brighton bagged the opener from a corner floated into the six-yard box, with the ball dropping kindly for Williams to slam home.
Blues had a decent spell from there and when a cross-shot from Sarah Ewens was cut out by Danique Kerkdijk and gathered by keeper Megan Walsh with Veatriki Sarri lurking with intent, a free-kick was awarded on the corner of the six-yard box. Sarri hit the shot but it was charged down.
Kaagman’s floated free-kick brought out the best from Emily Ramsey with a flying one-handed save to her right, while Rebecca Holloway’s blast from a half clearance at the other end was narrowly off target.
Brighton pressure grew as the first half ebbed away and the second arrived from the penalty spot after Aileen Whelan had been fouled with Kaagman making no mistake from 12 yards.
Half-time: Blues 0-2 Brighton & Hove Albion
Blues began the second half with Lucy Quinn agonisingly close to meeting Sarri’s ball to the back post and then the game got taken away from them within five minutes of the restart, Carter surging down the left and chipping in smartly at the near post.
The fourth arrived just before the hour, Koivisto drifting into the box to glance in unmarked from eight yards a lifted Kaagman cross from the left.
Williams was a fraction away from her second, narrowly failing to connect with Geum-min Lee’s cross-shot that got beyond Ramsey but also skipped past the far post.
The fifth came moments later and 20 minutes from time and it was the goal of the day, Emily Simpkins firing off a raking ball from the back into the run of Kayleigh Green who lobbed Ramsey.
To their credit, Blues did not give in and went in search of goals with Lucy Quinn’s effort headed off the line and Sarri nipping in to pinch possession and draw a fine low stop from Walsh but there was no way through.
The opening goal so early on allowed Brighton to settle and play without having to force the issue, while having to chase did not help the Blues cause.
Blues remain without a point but continue to show promise to suggest a first positive result is on the horizon.
Blues Women: Emily Ramsey, Cecilie Sandvej, Harriet Scott, Louise Quinn (captain), Veatriki Sarri, Lisa Robertson (Libby Smith 60), Sarah Ewens (Emily Whelan 75), Jamie Finn, Lucy Quinn, Eleanor Ryan-Doyle (Jade Pennock 60), Rebecca Holloway.
Unused substitutes: Lily Simkin, Lucy Whipp, Gemma Lawley, Abi Cowie, Marie Hourihan (g/k).
Brighton & Hove Albion: Megan Walsh, Emma Koivisto, Danique Kerkdijk (Felicity Gibbons 46), Maya Le Tissier, Aileen Whelan, Geum-min Lee (Ellie Brazil 77), Inessa Kaagman (Rinsola Babajide 64), Kayleigh Green (Maisie Symonds 77), Danielle Carter (Katie Robinson 64), Emily Simpkins, Victoria Williams.
Unused substitutes: Danielle Bowman, Megan Connolly, Juliet Arimoro, Fran Stenson (g/k).
Bookings: Maisie Symonds 80, Emily Simpkins 90+5.
Referee: Lucy May.
NEXT STEPS: Blues will look to bounce straight back up at Everton in a fortnight’s time. The contest at Walton Hall Park kicks off at 11.30am on Saturday 25 September and it is the first of three games in eight days for Booth’s side. An FA Cup quarter-final against Chelsea and a Barclays FA Women’s Super League showdown with Manchester United both follow at St Andrew’s.