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Crystal palace

      Report & Highlights: Five-star Palace seal a big victory on the road

      Durham Women
      Andrews 38'
      Crystal Palace Women
      Blanchard 25' 58'
      Sharpe 75'
      Hughes 85'
      Hopcroft 90+1'

      Crystal Palace Women smashed their record Championship points tally with a 5-1 win over Durham in their penultimate away game of the season.


      • Kaminski names unchanged XI
      • Hughes headers just wide on the 10th minute
      • Lambourne denies Andrews twice inside the opening 20 minutes
      • Sharpe can only guide a cross from Atkinson wide
      • Blanchard makes the breakthrough
      • But the score is levelled by Andrews only 13 minutes later
      • HT: Durham 1-1 Palace
      • Blanchard bags her brace on the 58th minute
      • Sharpe curls a beauty home from the edge of the box
      • Hughes gets in on the act with a first time finish on the 85th minute
      • Hopcroft seals the win in stoppage time
      • FT: Durham 1-5 Palace
      Women's Highlights: Durham 1-5 Crystal Palace

      A brace from Annabel Blanchard and further goals from Molly Sharpe, Elise Hughes and Shanade Hoprcoft secured Laura Kaminski’s side the victory at a sunny Maiden Castle.

      With only four games left of the campaign and a chance of claiming the title still in the side’s hands, three points were firmly in Palace’s sights.

      Hughes had a chance to give her the side an early lead on the 10th minute as she got on the end of a cross from Fliss Gibbons, but her header flew just wide of the target.

      Demi Lambourne was called into action a few minutes later as Amy Andrews broke into the final third and charged towards goal, but she was denied by a terrific save from Lambourne.

      Both Sharpe and Hughes had chances in front of goal as a lively opening 20 minutes to the game continued but neither of their headers were enough to put Palace ahead.

      Andrews forced Lambourne into another brilliant save on the 20th minute as she unleashed a strike from the edge of the area, but the Palace shot stopper read it well and was off her line to make the crucial stop.

      The breakthrough was finally made on the 25th minute as Blanchard bagged her first of the afternoon. Hughes fed a well-weighted pass through the Durham half and into Blanchard’s feet, who took a touch before lifting a shot over Saunders from outside the area.

      However, the lead didn’t last long as a lively Andrews drew her side level with a finish from inside the six-yard box after Palace failed to clear their lines six minutes before the break.

      Palace came out into the second-half with an extra edge as they were determined not to settle for a point and they re-took the lead after only 13 minutes.

      Substitute Araya Dennis kept the ball alive in the final third before Lexi Potter slipped a pass through to Blanchard who remained calm and composed inside the box before neatly placing a shot into the bottom right-hand corner of goal.

      Blanchard turned provider on the 75th minute as she helped extend Palace’s lead to a two-goal cushion. The tricky number 10 carried the ball down the left before finding Sharpe with a pass who took a touch before curling a brilliant shot from the edge of the box into the far top corner of goal.

      Hughes made it four for Palace 10 minutes later as she netted her 15th league goal of the campaign. Blanchard once again played her part in the goal as she was unleashed into the Durham final third by a pass from Hopcroft, she then moved towards the box before rolling a cross through the area and into Hughes who neatly finished off a first-time effort.

      Hopcroft rounded off the scoring in stoppage time as she sealed a five-star performance for her side. The ball, which had rarely left the Durham half in the second-half, was played into the Hopcroft’s feet inside the box from Dennis and the playmaking midfielder took a touch before coolly slotting a shot over the onrushing Saunders in goal.

      Palace: Lambourne (GK), Percival, Everett, Nolan, Gibbons (Reilly, 82), Potter (Arthur, 88), Hopcroft, Blanchard (Guyatt, 88), Sharpe (Watson, 82), Atkinson (Dennis, 51), Hughes

      Subs: Negri, Johnson, Doran, Larkin

      Durham: Saunders (GK), Crosthwaite, S. Wilson, Bradley, Salicki (E. Wilson, 75), Ayre, Briggs (Nicholson, 78), Hepple (Bramley, 86), Lambert (Ryan-Doyle, 78), Noonan, Andrews

      Subs: McAloon, Christon