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Dean Davenport reflects on Eagles' disappointing draw

2
Priest 77'
Harney 85'
2
Barton 14'
McLean 54'

Crystal Palace Women went 2-0 up against a struggling Watford side however a late comeback by The Hornets left Palace settling for a 2-2 draw. Manager Dean Davenport reflected on his side’s performance.

“I feel like it's two points dropped,” he said in his post-match interview. “We should have gone on to win the game, it's not acceptable to be cruising again 2-0 to come back and concede two goals.

"I thought the two goals conceded were bad goals to concede, bad times to concede the goals as well. Especially when we're cruising in front, playing some of the best football we’ve played all season, so disappointment really."

Davenport praised some of his players' performances but believed some could have been better.

“Some played well I thought some lost the ball quite a lot. That's not acceptable after the week we've had in training. If we haven't got 11 players on the pitch, wanting to fight for the ball, wanting to make the passes and play forward then consequently, you're going to leave yourself open and that's what happened.”

The heavens opened early after kick-off and the rain poured down at Vicarage Road. It was Palace who nearly took the early lead, with Shiv Wilson firing an excellent shot on target but denied by Watford keeper Georgia Ferguson.

Watford tried to regain momentum, but it was Kirsty Barton who gave Palace the all important lead early on, seeing her first attempt denied but smashing the rebound into the top corner.

Both sides came close in the 29th-minute. Watford were awarded a corner, from which Rosie Kmita picked out Corinne Henson in the box but she was unable to convert.

Immediately Palace were on the counter-attack, Bianca Baptiste crossing the ball into Coral-Jade Haines but her shot saved by the keeper. Haines continued to press, finding Baptiste in on goal; this time she slotted home, but was ruled offside.

There was a massive chance from Molly Sharpe just before half-time, but the Watford keeper made a massive save to keep the scoreline at 1-0.

Palace started the second-half well, dominating the game. Sharpe picked out Barton in the box, who nearly doubled Palace's lead but saw her effort cleared away for a corner.

It was Sophie McLean who eventually got the second goal for the Eagles. Sharpe started the move, setting the ball through to Haines who found McLean; she slid the ball into the net and doubled Palace's advantage.

Striker Molly Sharpe continued to play excellently, making a superb run up the wing to find Haines in the box, but her shot went narrowly over the bar.

Watford had their best chance of the game midway through the second-half. A cross in by Rosie Kmita was met by Anaisa Harney who headed the ball over the crossbar.

The Hornets were not to be deterred. As the minutes ticked away, a deep corner caused havoc in the Palace box; Harney's effort was cleared off the line, but the Palace defence were unable to deny Ylenia Priest’s follow-up effort.

The game completely changed after the goal, as Watford sought an equaliser. Their efforts were rewarded with just five minutes to go, as a mistake by Palace keeper Emily Orman saw Harney pounce from close range to slot the ball into the net.

The result means the Eagles stretch their unbeaten run to four games - they host Durham next at Hayes Lane on Sunday, 7th November.

Palace: Orman, Johnson, Waldie, Pearse, Everett, McLean (Clifford 83), Barton, Haines, Baptiste, Wilson (Cowan 75), Sharpe.

Subs not used: Morgan, Nicol, Coombes.

Watford: Ferguson, Vyse, Kmita, Priest, Meiwald, Ward, Fatuga-Dada (Humes 73), Beckett, Smith (Bell 73), Fyfe (Harney 56), Henson.

Subs not used: Smith, Biggadike, Charles, Waldron.