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      Report: Palace Women lose out to Charlton

      Crystal Palace Women
      Charlton Athletic Women
      Ayisi 64'

      Crystal Palace women battled until the end in a disrupted match, but fell to a 1-0 defeat against south London rivals Charlton Athletic at the VBS Community Stadium.


      • Kaminski makes wholesale changes to the XI which started in the Conti Cup on Wednesday.
      • Everett, Gibbons and Hughes retain their places.
      • Charlton are quick out of the blocks and control the opening 10 minutes.
      • Addison rattles the crossbar with a fierce half-volley from just outside the penalty area.
      • Palace settle into the game; Hughes comes close with a deflected strike following a counter-attack.
      • Debutant Atkinson volleys into the side-netting 20 minutes in.
      • Potter fires from the edge of the box; her effort is flicked towards goal by Hopcroft but saved.
      • HT: Palace 0-0 Charlton
      • Hopcroft whips the ball in for Atkinson, though the winger fires over from close range.
      • Johnson is put through on goal but denied by an onrushing Lambourne.
      • Charlton take the lead with just over an hour gone through substitute Ayisi, tapping home a rebound after her initial strike was saved.
      • A late Gibbons free kick fails to find a target and whistles past the post.
      • FT: Palace 0-1 Charlton

      Laura Kaminski's Eagles went into the game seeking to avenge a 3-2 defeat at the Valley in the reverse fixture earlier this season, with eight changes made from their midweek defeat at London City Lionesses.

      Yet Charlton certainly started the faster of the two sides, putting Palace under sustained pressure early on and coming within inches of scoring within the first 10 minutes.

      The Eagles cleared a Charlton set-piece which found its way to Angela Addison on the edge of the box, whose half-volley crashed against the crossbar.

      Palace were able to deal with the Addicks’ ventures forward and grew into the game with a quarter-of-an-hour on the clock.

      The home side looked most dangerous on the counter-attack and began to generate threat down the flanks. New signing Izzy Atkinson, who joined the club on Saturday from Women’s Super League side West Ham, was frequently involved on the left-hand side on her Palace debut.

      The Eagles' first chance of the game fell to Women’s Championship’s top scorer Elise Hughes. Annabel Blanchard played in Molly Sharpe on the break, who played a first-time cross to Hughes, with the striker’s low effort being deflected narrowly wide of the goal.

      Charlton’s attacking forays became rarer from this point, though the Palace defence needed to remain alert in order block forward Melissa Johnson’s effort from inside the box.

      Palace came even closer to breaking the deadlock in the 20th minute. Shanade Hopcroft hung up a delightful diagonal ball that floated all the way to the back post, where it was met by Atkinson on the volley, though the debutant’s effort only found the side-netting.

      The Eagles continued to hunt for an opener and forced Charlton goalkeeper Sian Rogers into action for the first time minutes later, after the Addicks failed to deal with a Palace corner. The ball eventually came to Lexi Potter on the edge of the box, whose strike was diverted goalwards by Hopcroft but saved by the keeper.

      As the game headed into first-half injury time, there was a lengthy pause in – and then temporary suspension of – play, as a clash of heads required treatment for Charlton's Freya Godfrey.

      The teams returned from the extended break in play to contest the five first-half injury time minutes remaining, and the two sides then entered half-time with scoreline goalless.

      Palace took their threat on the counter into the second period, with Atkinson having an early penalty shout dismissed by the referee.

      The winger continued to be lively and nearly put the Eagles ahead, once again getting on the end of a whipped Hopcroft cross before volleying over the crossbar from close range.

      Aside from dealing with Charlton crosses, Palace keeper Demi Lambourne had hardly been called into action with the game approaching the hour mark, but was on hand to rush out of her box and deny Johnson with her feet before the Addicks forward could even think about shooting.

      Yet Charlton would soon find the breakthrough, however, and in such a tight fixture, that first goal was always likely to have a significant impact on the final result.

      Kayleigh Green was released down the right flank and cut the ball back for fellow substitute Freda Ayisi. Lambourne did well to save Ayisi’s initial effort but the midfielder capitalised on the rebound to give the visitors the lead.

      It was a blow for Palace as the goal arguably came against the general run of play. Clear-cut chances for either side became few and far between as Charlton settled into more of a defensive shape after going ahead.

      Eagles substitute Araya Dennis posed a threat going forward but Palace were unable to convert that into any real sights of goal.

      Palace had a late opportunity in additional time when they were awarded a free kick on right-hand side of the penalty area, though Fliss Gibbons’ set piece eluded everyone.

      Kaminski’s side, who slip to fifth, will look to put today’s disappointment behind them next weekend with a trip to third-placed Southampton.

      Palace: Lambourne (GK), Reilly (Percival, 65), Everett (C), Nolan, Gibbons, Potter, Hopcroft, Blanchard (Guyatt, 82), Sharpe (Watson, 82), Atkinson (Dennis 65’), Hughes

      Subs not used: Negri, Johnson, Filbey, Sibley

      Charlton: Rogers (GK), Roe, Skeels, N’Dow, McKenna, Filis, Longhurst (C) (Ayisi, 56), Humphrey (Ross, 56), Addison (Pearse, 88), Godfrey (Green, 45), Johnson (McGowan, 83)

      Subs not used: Gray, Rutherford, Bashford, O’Rourke