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Crystal palace

      Report: Palace Women push reigning FA Cup champions Chelsea all the way

      Chelsea Women
      Ramírez 81'
      Crystal Palace Women

      Crystal Palace bowed out of the Adobe Women’s FA Cup at the hands of reigning champions and current Barclays Women’s Super League table toppers Chelsea this afternoon.


      • Kaminski switches to a back five
      • Reilly and Sibley come back into the starting XI
      • Nolan clears Chelsea’s first dangerous ball inside opening 10 minutes
      • Hopcroft swings a shot just wide
      • Lambourne collects Cuthbert’s deflected cross on the 22nd minute
      • HT: Chelsea 0-0 Palace
      • Reilly’s last ditch block puts out a cross from Cuthbert
      • Lambourne makes a massive save to deny Ramirez just after the hour mark
      • Sharpe’s looping header is caught by Hampton
      • Nüsken thinks she’s put the hosts ahead but is denied by the offside flag
      • The tie is decided by a magical finish from Ramirez in the game’s final stage
      • FT: Chelsea 1-0 Palace

      Laura Kaminski’s side pushed the five-time cup winners until the very end as they delivered a performance full of guts and pride.

      Palace swapped their usual back four for a back five as they prepared for an afternoon of keeping the world’s most expensive women’s player Mayra Ramirez quiet.

      The Colombian forward tried her luck in front of goal on the seventh minute as she drilled a low ball into the area but Hayley Nolan was on hand to make the clearance.

      Palace had the next chance of the game as the ball bounced in front of Shanade Hopcroft on the 11th minute but her first time strike flew just wide.

      Erin Cuthbert’s cross took a wicked deflection on the 22nd minute and Demi Lambourne made her first of many crucial saves of the afternoon as she got across to her near post to collect.

      Palace’s resolute defending continued after the restart as Kirsten Reilly timed her block well to safely see Cuthbert’s shot fly out for a corner kick.

      Lambourne denied Ramirez on the 63rd minute with a terrific save as she rushed off her line after the forward broke into the area.

      Substitutes Annabel Blanchard and Abbie Larkin brought a fresh energy to the side as Palace looked to break down Chelsea and try their own luck in front of goal.

      Blanchard fed a well-weighted pass through the defence and into Larkin on the 67th minute and the Ireland international charged into the box with the ball to earn her side a corner kick.

      Fliss Gibbons’ corner was met by Molly Sharpe at the far post, but her looping header was caught by Hannah Hampton.

      Cuthbert swung a first time shot towards goal from distance on the 71st minute but Lambourne was equal to the effort.

      Sjoeke Nüsken thought she’d put Chelsea ahead three minutes later with a low shot from close range, but the offside flag was fairly raised.

      Palace’s robust backline was eventually undone on the 81st minute as Ramirez magically flicked the ball past Lambourne after Ashley Lawrence fizzed a low cross into the box.

      Palace: Lambourne (GK), Reilly, Nolan, Everett, Gibbons (Filbey, 80), Percival, Sibley (Larkin, 57), Hopcroft (Blanchard, 57), Arthur (Guyatt, 75), Sharpe (Dennis, 75), Hughes

      Subs not used: Negri, Johnson, Atkinson

      Chelsea: Hampton (GK), Lawrence, Carter, Bjorn, Charles, Leupolz, Cuthbert, Reiten (Cankovic, 77), Kaneryd (Beever-Jones, 62), Kirby (Nüsken, 62), Ramirez

      Subs not used: Musovic, Ingle, Perisset, Hamano, Buchanan