FA Women's Premier League (SE)
Crystal Palace Ladies FC 9- 0 Lowestoft Town Ladies FC
Palace Ladies were again on form on Sunday in The FA Women's Premier League as they eased past lowly Lowestoft at Bromley FC.
A game that was switched to the 3G pitch at Hayes Lane, following the Easter Bank Holiday downpours, was played at a high tempo and saw The Eagles show their class across two halves of quality football in front of a receptive crowd that included a number of new faces, giving Women's football a visit for the first time.
The visitors set out in defiant fashion, working hard to break Palace down in the midfield. However, as the game settled, the hosts were able to use their possession, pace and power to better effect, creating good chances and a multitude of corners.
Soon, the pressure told and the in form Gemma Bryan put Palace ahead, in typically clinical fashion. This was followed by a terrific twenty yard lob, over the 'keeper by Leanne Bell, to make it 2-0. Palace were now in complete control with their defensive line rarely troubled. The score line was doubled before half time with a further goal from Bryan and one from the hugely industrious Rochelle Shakes.
The second half started in positive fashion for The Eagles, with Pammy McRoberts joining the score sheet. Shortly afterwards, it was Bryan who added to her own and the team tally, with two goals in two minutes, including an unstoppable twenty-five yard rocket.
Palace were now seven up and made changes that saw Liz Berkeley replace Lexie Spokes and Jade Davenport take the place of Alma Donohoe. Palace, aware that goal difference could ultimately play a part in their promotion efforts, pressed on. Two further goals were added to this cause, through a deft header from fourteen yards by Nicha Dyett and a fifth of the game for Bryan who completed a wonderful flowing move with a cool finish that typified another high quality and performance from the player and team as a whole.
Speaking after the match, Manager Dean Davenport was pleased with the efforts of the squad: "Today was another good day for The Ladies. They stuck to their task and did The Club proud. I thought we pressed well, were very effective with the ball and scored some very good goals. What was most pleasing was our use of the ball, throughout the team and how this helped break down large numbers of players behind the ball."
Still keen not to get too carried away with remaining top of The League, Davenport acknowledged: "Of course it is good to be where we are, but none of us are thinking too far ahead. The old cliché of one game at a time is very true. The next match is always the most important of the season from now own. If we win, we not only take the three points but reduce the opportunities for others to catch us."
Asked how pleased he was with the March fixtures, Davenport was clearly pleased with the return: "We knew that after the huge efforts and point taken away at Gillingham, that the next three games in the month were very important. We are pleased to have taken nine points from the three games and are now focussed on the next three. These see us play Norwich home and away and a tough trip to MK Dons. Following these, we will have a midweek cup final, before our last three League games. Come the end of April, we will have a far clearer idea as to how things lie. Until then, it really does remain one game at a time."
Palace Ladies return to FAWPL action next Sunday with a trip to Norwich City.