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Match Reports

Ladies Report and Gallery: Crystal Palace 0-1 Sheffield United

29 October 2018

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The Palace Ladies welcomed Sheffield United Women to a very cold and blustery Hayes Lane on Sunday afternoon, with the hosts looking to bounce back from defeat at Durham the week before.

To start, the game was end-to-end, with Palace having the first chance on two minutes. Chloe Burr's deep cross from the right flank was fumbled by goalkeeper Alex Brooks, who managed to recover the ball just before it crossed the line.

At the other end, United forward Bex Rayner was gifted possession in the Palace box only to see her fierce shot deflected into the side netting. 

Next, it was Palace's turn to threaten and outstanding play along the wing from Kallie Balfour presented an opportunity for Ashlee Hincks who couldn't force Balfour's cross home from close range.

In the tenth minute, the Eagles would breathe a sigh of relief. Danielle Cox, unmarked, headed a free kick beyond Shanell Salgado and into the net, only to have her goal ruled out for offside.

Soon after, Rayner was again a threat, and glided past the challenges of three Palace defenders. Ultimately, she fluffed her lines at the vital moment, scuffing her shot into Salgado's arms.

At the other end, a sumptuous turn from Palace's Balfour saw her beat her marker and surge into the box before curling a shot inches wide of the post. Soon after, Hincks found space 20 yards from goal, but shot straight into the arms of Brooks.

However it would be the visitors who took the lead on 35 minutes. A defensive lapse in concentration allowed the lively Jade Pennock to be played through on goal, and, one-on-one with Salgado, she coolly slotted into the bottom corner to put the visitors in front.

After the break, the Blades started on the attacking foot, and Cox again found room in the box to meet a free kick, nodding just wide in the 52nd minute. After Pennock had a volley charged down in the box, Palace's first attack came through substitute Andrea Georgiou, but her low drive was saved well by the diving Brooks.

As time drew on, Palace attacked with some neat play, but things would break down when the ball reached the United box. Hannah Mackenzie had what was perhaps the Eagles' best chance of the afternoon in the final ten minutes, but, after nodding a deep free kick delivery at goal, saw Brooks make a fine save; diving to her right to parry the ball away from danger.

The Blades went close to doubling their lead with just two minutes remaining, as Rayner's 30 yard free kick crashed against the crossbar.

Palace were to have one more throw of the dice, but after being awarded a free kick just outside of the 18 yard box, Hincks couldn't direct the ball on target and her effort sailed over the crossbar.

Palace XI: Salgado, McRoberts (Georgiou), Haydock (Keogh), Holdaway, Mackenzie, Butler, Whinnett, Hincks, Balfour (Nash), Burr, Chandler

Unused substitutes: Nuttall, Davenport, Watling, Collins


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