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      Report & Highlights: Palace Women soar to record-breaking win over Durham

      Crystal Palace Women
      Nolan 14'
      Blanchard 43' 45+6' 55'
      Hughes 62' 67' 76' 89'
      Sharpe 69'
      Durham Women
      Pritchard 90+4'

      Hat-tricks for Annabel Blanchard and Elise Hughes saw Crystal Palace Women secure their biggest-ever win on Sunday afternoon, defeating Durham Women 9-1 in an incredible display.


      • Kaminski makes one change, Paige Bailey-Gayle replacing Polly Doran
      • Nolan’s first-time effort from the edge of the box puts Palace ahead in the 13th minute
      • Blanchard scores the second capping off a great team goal
      • Blanchard doubles her tally slotting away a penalty
      • HT: Palace 3-0 Durham
      • The Eagles dominate the second-half as they did the first
      • Blanchard heads home her hat-trick goal from a corner to make it 4-0
      • Hughes gets her first of four on the hour mark, as Blanchard and Dennis combine to tee her up
      • Hughes makes it six with an almost identical goal to her first, captain Aimee Everett with the assist
      • Sharpe joins the party getting on the end of a well-floated Dennis cross
      • Another corner, another goal and another hat-trick, with Hughes getting her third
      • Potter makes her debut after coming on for Shanade Hopcroft
      • With five to play of normal time, Hughes scores a fourth to make the score 9-0
      • Durham’s Pritchard denies the Eagles a deserved clean sheet with a late consolation goal
      • FT: Palace 9-1 Durham
      Match Highlights: Crystal Palace Women 9-1 Durham Women

      With the sun shining and the fans in attendance at the VBS Community Stadium in full voice, Crystal Palace were looking to continue their unbeaten start as they hosted Durham.

      Palace started the game as they meant to go on as, while possession did not favour the Eagles in the opening 10 minutes, Palace definitely had the better quality opportunities. Paige Bailey-Gayle’s early cross for Molly Sharpe sparked the game into life as she volleyed just over the bar at the back post.

      Durham’s hopeful attempted balls over the top of the Palace back line were dealt with comfortably as the visitors struggled to find the likes of Saoirse Noonan and Amy Andrews in attack.

      However, while Durham struggled, Hayley Nolan certainly made no mistake after 13 minutes, as her first-time strike from the edge of the box arrowed into the net to open the scoring. Nolan capped off some neat interplay with Shanade Hopecroft and let fly.

      The Eagles continued their early pressure, enjoying their football to the sound of a section of the Palace support singing ‘we are top of the league!’. A couple of breaks in play followed which did stunt momentum as the players stopped to rehydrate in the sweltering heat.

      As half-time beckoned, Palace’s continued dominance resulted in a brilliant team move that saw Annabel Blanchard score the second of the day in the 43rd minute. Some crisp passing and intelligent movement drove the Eagles up the pitch. Blanchard found Bailey-Gayle who had the freedom of the right-hand side and played a smart one-two for Blanchard to curl past the keeper.

      In additional time before the break, under immense pressure from Palace’s forward play, Elise Hughes was bundled to the ground in the box to win a penalty. Blanchard stepped up, and sent the keeper the wrong way to get her second of the game.

      At half time, Bailey-Gayle was replaced by Araya Dennis, who had scored the match-winner at Birmingham City the previous weekend.

      After the break, it didn’t take long for Palace to add to their first-half dominance. In the 55th minute, Blanchard got her well deserved third of the afternoon, rising to head home from a Shanade Hopcroft corner.

      Durham’s defence was no match for the confident Blanchard who was deep in her bag of tricks when she linked up with Dennis who followed up her debut goal from last weekend with an assist for Hughes’ first of the afternoon.

      Blanchard came off to a huge ovation in the 62nd minute, but Palace’s appetite for goals did not stop there. The first hat-trick scorer was replaced by Shauna Guyatt.

      Soon after, a second hat-trick hero of the afternoon had her eye on the match-ball. Hughes scored her second in almost identical fashion, this time assisted by captain Aimee Everett, who fizzed in a cross for the forward to finish and make it 6-0 to the Eagles.

      Dennis soon picked up her second assist of the afternoon, winning the ball back and floating a cross to Molly Sharpe to make it seven. With goals now flooding in everyone wanted to get involved on the scoresheet, and after 70 minutes the home side's waves of attacks showed no signs of stopping.

      It didn’t take long for Palace to make it eight, this time it was another corner as Fliss Gibbons whipped in a corner for Hughes to get her hat-trick.

      Despite the heat making for difficult conditions and being firmly in the driving seat to record their biggest-ever win, Laura Kaminski’s side continued to work and chase after every loose ball.

      The ninth goal for Palace almost came in some style as Kirsten Reilly arrowed a strike that rattled the crossbar in the 82nd minute. Shortly after Lexi Potter was introduced for her debut in the 87th minute, alongside Annabel Johnson who was also subbed on. The pair replaced Hopcroft and Everett.

      Number nine was scored by No. 9, Hughes, who neatly steered the ball home after a series of ricochets in the box led to the ball being at the feet of the striker, who made no mistake in scoring her fourth.

      Frustratingly, Palace’s almost faultless defensive display didn’t yield a clean sheet as Durham’s Poppy Pritchard scored deep into stoppage time for Durham to make the long journey home with a consolation goal.

      With history made, the Eagles seem keen not to dwell on their record setting victory as Kaminski’s travel to Sunderland next week, top of the Women's Championship after three games – and having produced an afternoon nobody in Sutton or Palace colours will long soon forget.

      Palace: Negri (GK), Reilly, Nolan, Everett (Johnson, 88), Gibbons, Filbey (Arthur, 54), Hopcroft (Potter, 87), Bailey-Gayle (Dennis, 45), Blanchard (Guyatt, 63), Sharpe, Hughes

      Subs not used: Wright (GK), Cataldo