Skip navigation

Report: Palace Women end record-breaking season in 4th

Sheffield United Women
2
Lord-Mears 12'
Sweetman-Kirk 35'
2
Crystal Palace Women
Clifford 31'
McLean 79'

Crystal Palace Women ended a record-breaking season on 37 points from 22 games, sitting fourth in the table after a 2-2 draw with Sheffield United.

It is the club's most successful season to date, with Dean Davenport's side level with third-place Bristol City but for goal difference.

Goals from Charley Clifford and Sophie McLean completed a comeback against United comeback to secure the 2-2 draw.

United got off to a near-perfect start, as Lucy Watson’s low cross in the box found Courtney Sweetman-Kirk in the box, but her shot fell wide of the post.

The Blades were the more dominant side as they continued to challenge Palace, and their chances eventually paid off in just the 10th-minute. Rhema Lord-Mears’ long-range strike flew into the top corner to put the home side in front.

Goalkeeper Emily Orman kept Palace in the game by stopping Sweetman-Kirk’s low range shot, preventing United from doubling their lead. It was just as well, as Palace had it all to play for on Sunday afternoon: victory and the correct combination of results elsewhere could have pushed them to second.

Palace were soon awarded their first corner of the game, and Coral Haines delivered the ball into the box only for the home defence to push it to near-safety. However the ball then fell to Clifford, who smashed it into the top corner to level the scoreline.

United responded instantly through Sweetman-Kirk, with a great ball in from Ellie Wilson finding her in the box to head home and put the Blades back in front.

The half-time whistle blew and Palace went into the break trailing by a goal.

Defeat would leave Durham with the chance to leapfrog the south Londoners, so the next 45 minutes were crucial.

Both teams came out unchanged for the second-half, and Palace started superbly with Millie Farrow almost levelling up the score with an effort that went just wide.

The home side had a series of chances to extend their lead but weren’t able to find the back of the net. The closest came after a handball claim in the Palace box: midfielder Bex Rayner’s effort went over the bar.

Shiv Wilson came close to finding the bottom corner but a save from United's Fran Kitching blocked her chance.

Into the final 20 the Eagles continued to challenge. A huge save from United 'keeper Kitching palmed a Palace corner away, with the Blades’ defence scrambling to get the ball clear.

It was McLean who eventually slotted into the back of the net and levelled up the score for the Eagles, bringing their league position into their own hands.

United came close to scoring in the final stages through Lord-Mears, but Palace held strong to see out the match and cap a remarkable 21/22 campaign with a point to remember.

Sheffield United: Kitching, Wilson, Lipka, Robert, Paul, Rayner (Enderby 77) Cusack, Newsham, Lord-Mears, Sweetman-Kirk, Watson.

Subs not used: Wilson, Wilcock, Muir, Taylor, Docherty, Sharrocks, Miller, Reavill.

Crystal Palace: Orman, Johnson (Nicol 82) , Everett, Pearse, McLean (Churchill 82), Clifford (Waldie 73), Haines, Sibley (Baptiste 73), Wilson, Sharpe, Farrow (Coombs 73).

Subs not used: Smith, Hennessy.