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From the head coach

Good evening everybody, and welcome back to the VBS Community Stadium for our Continental League Cup group-stage match against Watford.

Sunday's loss to Southampton at Selhurst was a disappointing day in the end, but I thought the players and the group showed fantastic grit and resilience.

We did so well to stay in the game before half-time. We had a bit of a word with ourselves at half-time: some really honest reflections, and some really good solves to apply early in the second-half.

I thought we came out after half-time really well. We came out fighting for the second-half. It was really disappointing to score three goals at Selhurst Park and not walk away with anything, so we're really disappointed as a group, but I do think there are lots of positives to take from the game.

I was really happy with the performance. I know there were some mistakes where we made some errors that obviously caused us to concede, and I thought those errors were a little bit sloppy from us as a group, but we'll go away and we'll reflect on that.

I've got a really intelligent group that work here. I've got great staff that will be able to analyse those moments of the game and really make sure that we get our heads together and make sure that those things aren't consistent.

On the other hand, it was a great game for a neutral! There were obviously seven goals, so I think the fans had a great day because obviously there were loads of young females at the ground watching the game, which is fantastic.

But for us, we prepared to win the game, and unfortunately, it didn't quite go our way.

It was disappointing – but we've made sure that we've picked ourselves up ahead of tonight. There are some positives from the performance to take, and we're taking that forward.

It's been a quick turnaround from Sunday, so there's been no time to slouch our shoulders. We've now got to pick ourselves up and get back out there and perform to the best of our ability.

The group that I've got always rise to the challenge. I’ve got very honest, intelligent football players who look to improve each week based on what we face next, and this evening will be no different.

The players have done really well so far this season. For us, now, we really want to finish off this block of work in a really good place.

After the international break, we want to be in a good place with maybe a few more additions to the squad which will keep things interesting.

We really want to get some fresh legs back, which is going to be important for the squad because I need that strength in depth, and as a group the international break will come at a good time for us, as we then build into that FA Cup fixture and the league game before Christmas.

Hopefully we can sign off before then with a good performance again tonight.

Thank you, as always, for your fantastic support,


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The round-up

Crystal Palace Women suffered late heartbreak in a 4-3 defeat to Southampton at Selhurst Park on Sunday, but treated a club-record attendance (4,442 ticket sales) to a pulsating fixture at the top end of the Women’s Championship.


  • Record 4,442 ticket sales form backdrop to Palace Women facing Southampton at Selhurst Park
  • Visitors start brightly as Lambourne tips away wayward Morris cross
  • Pike slots in to give Southampton the lead after 15 minutes
  • Palace reply immediately, captain Everett with a thumping header from Gibbons’ free-kick
  • Morris’ looping header restores Saints’ advantage moments later
  • Hughes’ effort blocked inside the box as Palace seek second equaliser
  • Wales international pounces on the stroke of half-time to side-foot home Gibbons’ cross
  • HT: Palace 2-2 Southampton
  • Lambourne denies Saints with her legs early in the second-half
  • Dennis wins penalty with smart turn, dispatched by Hughes to give Palace the lead
  • Pace of the game settles as Palace look to retain possession
  • Lambourne tips Griffiths header against the bar and Dean tucks in Southampton equaliser
  • Saints snatch late winner through Wilkinson’s glancing header
  • FT: Palace 3-4 Southampton
Women's Highlights: Crystal Palace 3-4 Southampton

A see-saw game saw Palace twice equalise in the first-half through Aimee Everett and Elise Hughes, before taking the lead early in the second through Hughes' penalty – only to then find themselves on the wrong end of a Southampton comeback.

Nevertheless, a day of family fun at Selhurst Park, was the perfect example of the entertainment the Women’s Championship continues to provide – an enthralling encounter played out in front of a huge crowd, with 4,442 tickets sold ahead of kick-off.

The figure soared high above Palace’s record – set against Charlton Athletic last November – of 1,969 fans, and was testament to the fantastic start made by the Eagles this season.

Southampton's win saw leapfrog Palace into third in the Championship but the standings remain incredibly tight; should the Eagles win their game-in-hand against Sheffield United, they themselves will go top of the table.

Reilly praises 'amazing' record crowd

and looks forward to the visit of Watford

Kirsten Reilly described the ‘amazing’ experience of playing in front of a record crowd for Crystal Palace Women against Southampton on Sunday.

Despite the Eagles’ late 4-3 defeat, the day will live long in the memory of every Palace player, with a boisterous crowd in SE25 – following a record 4,442 ticket sales – backing Reilly’s team.

“It was amazing,” Reilly said of the crowd. “We heard them from the first minute until the last.

“It was really nice to have everyone down. Hopefully we’ll be able to keep building our attendances for games at Sutton as well, but it was really nice to have everyone there.”

Reilly reflects on dramatic defeat at Selhurst

On the game itself, the No. 11 admitted: “I felt like we worked really hard throughout the whole game. It wasn’t for lack of effort that we lost, but it’s definitely a tough one to take.

“We all worked really hard. We’ll look at what we’ve done to concede those goals and hopefully amend that for the next time we face them in games to come.

“We will look at it in training, but we need to be tighter and not conceding these goals because when you concede, there’s a chance you’ll get beaten, and that’s what happened.”

Nevertheless, Palace have the opportunity to bounce back straight away ahead of the forthcoming international break when they host Watford in the Continental League Cup group stage on Wednesday evening.

Reilly said: “We’ll all be looking forward to the game on Wednesday.

“We’ll work in training to see what we can fix [from Sunday], but it’s a different game, so we’ll be looking forward to it.”

Stat Zone

Crystal Palace Women have made an excellent start to their 2023/24 campaign at their new home: the VBS Community Stadium. Catch up with the season so far in our comprehensive Stat Zone...

Fixtures & Results

Date Opponent Score
Sun 27 Reading D 1-1
Sun 3 Birmingham City W 2-1
Sun 10 Durham W 9-1
Sun 17 Sunderland D 1-1
Sun 8 Blackburn Rovers W 4-0
Wed 11th Lewes (Continental League Cup) D 1-1 (0-2p.)
Sun 15 London City Lionesses W 6-1
Sun 22 Charlton Athletic L 2-3
Sun 5 Watford W 3-0
Sun 12 Lewes W 3-2
Sun 19 Southampton L 3-4
Wed 22 Watford (Continental League Cup)
Sun 17 Reading
Sun 21 London City Lionesses
Wed 24 London City Lionesses (Continental League Cup)
Sun 28 Charlton Athletic
Sun 4 Southampton
Sun 18 Blackburn Rovers
Sun 3 Birmingham City
Sun 17 Sheffield United
Sun 24 Watford
Sun 31 Durham
Sun 21 Lewes
Sun 28 Sunderland
Date to be confirmed
TBC Sheffield United

View the Eagles' full fixture and results lists here.

Individual stats

Name Apps Goals
Chloe ARTHUR 8 0
Keira BARRY 0 0
Annabel BLANCHARD 8 7
Araya DENNIS 9 2
Polly DORAN 8 1
Aimee EVERETT 10 2
Anna FILBEY 11 1
Fliss GIBBONS 7 0
Shauna GUYATT 10 1
Shanade HOPCROFT 11 3
Elise HUGHES 11 12
Annabel JOHNSON 2 0
Natalia NEGRI 8 0
Ellie NOBLE 0 0
Hayley NOLAN 11 1
Lexi POTTER 6 1
Kirsten REILLY 10 0
Molly SHARPE 11 4
Isabella SIBLEY 1 0
Lucy WATSON 3 0
Annis-Clara WRIGHT 0 0

Women's Championship league table

Position Team P W D L GF GA GD PTS
1 Charlton 11 6 4 1 15 8 7 22
2 Sunderland 11 6 4 1 13 6 7 22
3 Southampton 11 7 0 4 21 14 7 21
4 Crystal Palace 10 6 2 2 34 14 20 20
5 Birmingham City 11 6 2 3 20 10 10 20
6 Blackburn 10 5 0 5 8 13 -5 15
7 Durham 11 4 2 5 11 20 -9 14
8 Sheffield United 10 4 1 5 13 14 -1 13
9 London City Lionesses 11 3 2 6 11 18 -7 11
10 Reading 10 2 4 4 9 14 -5 10
11 Lewes 11 2 1 8 7 18 -11 7
12 Watford 11 1 2 8 11 24 -13 5

Continental League Cup - Group C table

Pos Team P W PW PL L GF GA GD Pts
1 Watford 1 0 1 0 0 2 2 0 2
2 Lewes 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 2
3 Crystal Palace 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1
4 London City Lionesses 1 0 0 1 0 2 2 0 1

Crystal Palace Women


Chico Lyons (Physical Performance Coach); Andrew Shafik (Team Doctor); Isiah Goddard-Joseph (Sports Therapist); Andrew Greene (Sports Scientist); Nick Wiltshire (Kit Manager); Leigh Nicol (Player Liaison Officer)


Daniel Matraszek (Lead Goalkeeper Coach); Polly Doran; Paige Bailey-Gayle; Keira Barry; Araya Dennis; Demi Lambourne; Natalia Negri; Chloe Arthur; Hayley Nolan; Molly Sharpe; Elise Hughes; Ellie Noble; Joe Tupper (Goalkeeper Coach)


Alexia Potter; Shauna Guyatt; Annabel Blanchard; Lia Cataldo; Fliss Gibbons; Annabel Johnson; Laura Kaminski (Head Coach); Adam Jeffrey (Assistant Coach); Aimee Everett (Captain); Kirsten Reilly; Shanade Hopcroft; Lucy Watson; Anna Filbey; Isabella Sibley

Watford F.C. Women

  • 2. Lucía LEÓN
  • 3. Abbie LAFAYETTE
  • 4. Charlotte FLEMING
  • 5. Anne MEIWALD
  • 6. Sophie McLEAN
  • 7. Gemma DAVISON
  • 8. Bianca BAPTISTE
  • 9. Carly JOHNS
  • 10. Annie ROSSITER
  • 11. Michelle AGYEMANG
  • 12. Ellie HEAD
  • 13. Jacqui GOLDSMID (GK)
  • 14. Harley BENNETT
  • 15. Drè GEORGIOU
  • 16. Laila HARBERT
  • 17. Megan CHANDLER
  • 18. Poppy WILSON
  • 19. Alli PALISCH
  • 20. Kalani PEART
  • 21. Flo FYFE
  • 22. Jade BRADLEY
  • 23. Coral HAINES
  • 24. Lois EDWARDS
  • 25. Melis MEHMET
  • 26. Katie REID
  • 27. Corinne HENSON

Tonight's Officials

  • Referee: Aaron Ford
  • Assistant Referee 1: Lee Markwick
  • Assistant Referee 2: Yashar Yekta
  • 4th Official: Michael Butcher

Enjoy the match!