FA Women's Premier League (South East)
Old Actonians LFC 0 - 5 Crystal Palace Ladies FC
with a comprehensive 5-0 win away at Old Actonians; a result that helps The Eagles maintain the top spot in The FA Women's Premier League (South East).on SundayCrystal Palace Ladies continued their unbeaten league form
This was the first match between the two, since the hosts were promoted last season, and whilst form dictated that it should be Palace's day, the South Londoners needed to be on their game, to deal with a determined opposition and very difficult pitch conditions.
The first ten minutes or so saw plenty of endeavour from both teams, with Palace dictating possession.
However, chances were few and far between. As things started to settle and Palace found their rhythm, a succession of corners for the visitors, looked like an effective route to goal. And it was from one such corner that Palace scored with a pinpoint header from Freya Holdaway into the top left corner. The goal certainly helped Palace, who were without Leesa Haydock and Alex Elson for the match, and were now settled and playing some good football despite the conditions underfoot.
With play stretched by the wide players, Leanne Bell and Abi Igbavboa, the forward line of Gemma Bryan and Nicha Dyett, supported by the productivity and industry of Rochelle Shakes were able to create opportunities through the central areas.
It was from a further corner that Palace scored their second, this time through Pammy McRoberts who volleyed home from the edge of the box. The goal typified a hard working central performance from the Northern Ireland international, who has just been called up to training ahead of the forthcoming European Championships game v Croatia.
Before half time, Palace added a third through the lively Gemma Bryan, who latched on to a goal kick from Sam Saint and cooly held off the last defender, before slotting in, past the keeper.
The second half saw much more of the same from Palace. The hosts did work hard to create but were kept well marshalled by the defensive partnership of Lexie Spokes, Katy Morris and Sarah Jones.
Three became four for The Eagles, when Bryan, again outpaced the defence, drew the keeper and cooly bent the ball into the corner of the net. Manager, Dean Davenport used they match to give all three substitutes game time and manage the risk of injury and fatigue on a heavy pitch.
The introductions of Angie Kiobel, Kelsey Zalameni and Alma Donohoe proved effective and resulted in a fifth and final goal, through Donohoe within moments of coming on for a lively spell on the left.
Speaking after the game, Davenport appeared happy with the result
"I think we did well today. Actonians are a decent team and are lower down the league by virtue of games not yet played. The pitch was not ideal and we spoke with the girls beforehand about what to expect and how to deal with it. To their credit, they did so. And very well."
Asked about the pressures of the title chase, Dean commented
"It is impossible not to think about it. But we are in a good position and can control our destiny. Our main title threats will not give up, so we have to keep our concentration, belief and composure. Today, like quite a few to come, was as much about checking off another match from the dwindling list of fixtures. Three points secured and safely onto next week."
Also speaking after the match, Pammy McRoberts was equally considered in her thoughts.
"I thought we did well today. The pitch conditions weren't ideal, but these are all part of the tests we face through a season. The whole squad played their part in another important win and we look ahead to the next match, and doing what we can to put in another good performance."
. Entry is £3 per adult, under 16s go free.2pm, kick off is at 12:30 (20th). The match is at Bromley FC, doors open at on SundayPalace Ladies are at home, again, against Old Actonians in The FA Women's Premier League