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      Report & Highlights: Palace Women secure three points in first league game of 2024

      London City Lionesses
      Crystal Palace Women
      Nolan 21'
      Hughes 90+2'

      Goals from Hayley Nolan and Elise Hughes secured Crystal Palace three points in their first Barclays Women’s Championship game of 2024 as they defeated London City Lionesses 2-0 away from home.


      • Youngster Potter comes into the starting 11
      • Hopcroft comes close to the opener on the sixth minute but her shot dips over the goal
      • Nolan makes it two in two as she heads home Gibbons’ corner kick to put Palace ahead on the 21st minute
      • Gibbons’ second corner kick minutes later looks to fly straight in but is somehow cleared off the line
      • Sharpe finds Hopcroft with a cross but her header is saved
      • HT: London City Lionesses 0-1 Palace
      • Blanchard sees her effort blocked two minutes after the restart
      • Reilly’s header is superbly kept out by the keeper on the 51st minute
      • Guyatt’s first-time swinging strike flies just wide 20 minutes later
      • Hughes seals the win on the 92nd minute
      • FT: London City Lionesses 0-2 Palace
      Women's Highlights: London City Lionesses 0-2 Crystal Palace

      Five weeks on from their last league fixture Laura Kaminski’s side came into this afternoon’s tasty tie with full focus on three points as they look to continue their top of the table push.

      Shanade Hopcroft came agonisingly close to making it a perfect start for the Eagles as she rifled a fierce shot from just outside the area against her former team but her strike dipped just over the goal.

      But London City couldn’t stop another former player of theirs on the 21st minute as Hayley Nolan put Palace in the driving seat. Fliss Gibbons whipped a typical corner kick of hers deep into the area and Nolan rose the highest to safely head the ball home.

      Gibbons thought she’d doubled her side’s lead minutes later as another corner kick of hers sailed through the area and towards goal but the ball was somehow cleared off the line.

      Molly Sharpe whipped a great cross towards the back post two minutes from the break but Hopcroft’s headed effort was saved by the keeper.

      Palace’s hunt for their second of the afternoon continued after the restart and Kirsten Reilly nearly made it happen on the 51st minute. A cross found the defender inside the six yard box but her header was brilliantly saved by the keeper.

      A free-kick from Gibbons was cleared on the 71st minute but only to as far as substitute Shauna Guyatt who swung a first-time strike goalwards from just outside the area but her effort flew just wide.

      Demi Lambourne was called into action on the 89th minute as she read a shot from Danielle Carter well to make a save at her near post to ensure a well deserved clean sheet.

      Elise Hughes sealed the victory inside stoppage time as she netted her 13th league goal of the campaign. A free-kick from Annabel Blanchard bounced back off the cross bar and into a crowded penalty box. Chloe Arthur kept the ball alive with a header towards goal where Hughes was on hand to smash it into the back of the net.

      Palace:  Lambourne, Reilly (Percival, 67), Everett, Nolan, Gibbons, Potter (Arthur, 84), Hopcroft (Guyatt, 61), Blanchard, Sibley (Dennis, 46), Sharpe, Hughes

      Subs: Negri, Johnson, Cataldo, Filbey

      London City Lionesses: Cull, Neville, Culver, Brougham, Mukandi, Joel, Littlejohn (Groves, 90), Scofield (Alexander, 71), Wilde, Fitzgerald, Carter

      Sub: Uttridge, Cowan, Farrelly