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      Report & highlights: Late Haines strike secures back-to-back wins for Palace Women

      Crystal Palace Women
      Olding 62'
      Haines 80'
      Sheffield United Women
      Rayner 75'

      Coral Haines' 80th-minute finish added to Hollie Olding's wonder goal to see Crystal Palace Women past Sheffield United for their second win in as many games with a 2-1 victory.


      • Dean Davenport makes one change, with Rianna Dean coming in for Paige Bailey-Gayle
      • Fran Kitching catches Alethea Paul's early effort
      • Molly-Mae Sharpe's ninth-minute shot kept out by Fran Stenson
      • Courtney Sweetman-Kirk narrowly misses for the away side just moments later
      • Both sides make first-half changes due to injuries
      • Sheffield United have the better chances ahead of the break
      • HT: Palace 0-0 Sheffield Utd
      • Palace start the second half brightly
      • Hollie Olding breaks the deadlock with an excellent long-range strike after the hour mark
      • Sheffield United have a flurry of chances shortly after
      • Bex Rayner equalises for the visitors in the 75th minute with an impressive volley
      • Haines restores Palace's advantage five minutes later
      • The Eagles defend boldly to keep out Sheffield United for the remainder of the game
      • FT: Palace 2-1 Sheffield United
      Women's Highlights: Crystal Palace 2-1 Sheffield United

      Following their recent triumph over Durham, Palace returned to Hayes Lane on a cold Sunday afternoon for a Women’s Championship fixture against Sheffield United Women.

      Palace boss Dean Davenport made just one change, as Rianna Dean replaced Paige Bailey-Gayle in attack.

      Chances were limited in the opening stages, with Sheffield United's No.10 Alethea Paul testing Fran Kitching from range early on – but the Palace 'keeper made an easy catch.

      In the ninth minute, Palace had a chance of their own, as Molly-Mae Sharpe fired a shot across goal which was parried away by Fran Stenson.

      A few minutes later, the away side had another opportunity as Courtney Sweetman-Kirk latched onto a loose ball, but the striker dragged her shot wide of goal, much to the relief of the Palace defence.

      The Eagles were forced into an early change in the 15th minute as defender Aimee Everett was unable to continue after feeling the effects of a rough challenge; she was replaced by Chloe Arthur.

      On the half-hour mark, it was Sheffield United who then had to make a change due to injury: Georgia Walters took the place of Mia Enderby in attack.

      Shortly after, a cross from Rhema Lord-Mears forced a save from Palace's Kitching as the ball swerved towards her near post, before another effort from Sweetman-Kirk a minute later crept narrowly wide of the net.

      Just before half-time, a looping header from Grace Riglar hit the bar following a Sheffield United corner, which proved to be the last real chance of the half as the two sides went into the break evenly-matched.

      There was a delay ahead of the restart as Palace’s Kirsten Reilly had to undergo treatment on the pitch. The full-back was eventually forced to go off, being replaced by Annabel Johnson, who took the captain's armband.

      The opening of the second-half was a fairly cagey affair, but Palace had the first chance after the interval, as Hollie Olding's effort from outside the box in the 54th minute was caught by Stenson in the Sheffield United net.

      Just moments later, an impressive long ball from Coral Haines found Rianna Dean in the box, but she was unable to beat Stenson to the ball.

      Shortly after the hour mark, Palace deservedly found the breakthrough. Olding scored her first goal of the season in emphatic style as her excellent long-range strike whistled into the bottom corner to put the Eagles in front.

      Davenport's side were beginning to find their attacking rhythm, as Haines picked out Annabel Blanchard in the 68th minute with another perfect long ball, but the winger fired wide of the post.

      After a flurry of chances, Sheffield United produced an equaliser in the 75th minute, with Bex Rayner's powerful volley from the edge of the box cannoning in off the bar.

      With the scores level, the away side seemed to have found some confidence, with Sweetman-Kirk's strike from outside the area narrowly gliding over the bar three minutes later.

      This confidence was short lived though, as a well-worked counter-attack found Haines in the box, who neatly placed her finish into the top corner – restoring Palace's advantage in the 80th minute.

      The Eagles were under pressure straight after the restart as Sheffield United saw a number of efforts kept out in quick succession, the latter of which looped over Kitching, whose quick reactions prevented the ball from finding the net.

      Despite eight minutes of added-time due to a number of injuries, Palace defended resiliently to shut out any further attacks and secure all three points.

      Back-to-back home wins sees Davenport’s side stay in sixth place in the Women's Championship, now just five points off third place.  They return to Hayes Lane next Sunday, 5th March to face title-chasing Bristol City.

      Palace: Kitching (GK), Reilly (Johnson, 45), Everett (Arthur, 15), Waldie, Reilly, Filbey, Doran, Olding (Bailey-Gayle, 90), Haines, Blanchard, Dean, Sharpe

      Subs not used: Negri (GK), Hughes, Gibbons

      Sheffield United: Stenson (GK), Newsham, Barker (Cusack, 72), Hartley, Riglar, Sweetman-Kirk, Rayner, Paul, Lord-Mears (Muir, 72), Enderby (Walters, 30), Haywood (Wilcock, 64)

      Subs not used: Davies (GK), Francis-Jones, Brown, Graham