Palace Ladies sealed their place in the next round of The FA Women's Premier League Cup with an emphatic 10-1 victory against FAWPL South West Division One side, Brislington Ladies.
Palace started the contest strongly with Nikita Whinnett opening the scoring inside the first minute. From the start Palace dictated the pace and flow of the game, with relentless possession and ruthless finishing. The early goal was soon added to through defender, Rosie Paye heading in at the back post; this was quickly followed by an own goal from one of the Brislington defenders when under pressure from Gemma Bryan.
The Eagles were so dominant that the defensive backline had a comfortable and quiet game, not really being troubled for the majority of the tie.
Whinnett added her second before Gemma Bryan found the back of the net late in the half. The hugely influential Ciara Sherwood scored with a thunderbolt into the roof of the Brislington net just ahead of the break, at which Palace held a 6-0 lead.
The second half started as quickly as the first with Ellie Bailes firing home from the edge of the area in the 46th minute with a well driven low shot, catching the Brislington keeper off guard. The Eagles continued to exert their dominance, looking to add to their tally on a regular basis. Next up was Bryan, with a fierce right footed shot, making it 8 goals in 3 games for the attacker as she added to her ever-impressive goal-scoring record for Palace.
To their credit, Brislington did manage to grab a goal on the break as Palace showed a momentary lapse in concentration midway through the second half, but Palace reacted in characteristic and ruthless fashion with Sherwood smashing home a superb 20 yard strike before Paye grabbed her second with another headed effort from a Stef Simmonds corner.
With three games played, twenty five goals scored and three victories, the season has started well for The Eagles, although captain, Freya Holdaway was keen that the focus remains,
“We are very proud of the performance today; we played some very good football, with goals coming from across the team. The early league cup games will often see lower teams take on those in the higher league. There is always a chance of an upset, so today was about getting the job done. In fairness, Brislington showed real spirit and character and we are sure that they will hold their own in their league this season, but only a couple of seasons on from being in their position, we showed how far we have come and a sign of what we all want for the future.”
Attention now turns back to the league next week as The Eagles travel to bottom placed Swindon.