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Report: Palace Women’s unbeaten ends after Continental Cup defeat to Reading

Crystal Palace Women
Sharpe 51'
Reading Women
Evans 34'
Chaplen 73' 76'

Crystal Palace Women's unbeaten run of six games ended after Reading won 3-1 in Wednesday night's Continental Cup clash.

Goalkeeper Chloe Morgan had a sensational game despite the home side losing.

“It’s been a while since I’ve got on the pitch and got those minutes back,” she said. “It's always an absolute pleasure to be on the pitch and be out there with the girls.

“I’m buzzing to go out there and make a difference on the field.

“This was going to be a difficult game and we knew that, but our priority now is the league. I have absolutely full hope in the squad that we're going to go out and win.”

It was kick-off under the lights at Hayes Lane, with both sides looking to get a positive for a chance of going through to the later stages.

Reading started well, controlling the game's opening stages. Natasha Dowie - daughter of Bob and neice of Iain - had the first opportunity. Forward Justine Vanhaevermaet drove into the box and crossed it through to Dowie whose shot was collected by 'keeper Morgan.

The away side settled into the game better than the Eagles, pressing on the attack, however the defence remained strong to keep the game level.

After a sequence of chances, Reading finally broke the deadlock in the 33rd minute with a goal from Gemma Evans. Lily Woodham delivered a ball to the corner which was met by Gemma Evans who tucked her header in at the far post.

The visitors nearly double their lead just three minutes later when Emma Harries ran down the right hand side and cut the ball back to Dowie, whose first touch found Harding. However her shot went just over the post.

Half-time came and saw the Eagles one goal behind the Royals.

It was Reading who made an instant impact in the second-half with Morgan having to make a huge double save. The first shot from Woodham was met by the Palace 'keeper before Tash Harding followed in on the rebound, which Morgan was able to keep out.

Palace continued to push back and Kirsty Barton had a sensational shot 20 yards out which the Reading 'keeper saved. The ball then fell to Molly Sharpe who smashed it home to level up the game.

There was a chance for the Eagles to take the lead after a break down the wing by Sharpe, who crossed to Leigh Nicol to find Georgia Clifford. The midfielder spotted Barton on the wing, however shot just skimmed the goal and went out wide.

Both teams were pushing for the next goal but it was Reading who took the lead in the 72nd minute. After a mistake from Palace Deanne Rose won the ball back and ran towards the box. She squared it to Brooke Chaplen who found the back of the net.

It was only three minutes later when Reading got their third. Chaplen doubled her tally after Harries made a run down the wing to find her teammate in the box. Chaplen duly who cleared the Palace defence to knock it past Morgan.

A late double substitution from the Eagles saw Charley Clifford replaced by Bianca Baptiste and Shiv Wilson on for Coral-Jade Haines. Baptiste made an instant impact with an excellent run into the box, but her shot was deflected off the Reading defence.

The full-time whistle blew shortly after and Reading took the victory in this Continental Cup clash.

Next up the Eagles travel to the Sir Tom Finney Stadium on Sunday, November 21st to face Blackburn Rovers Ladies in the Women’s Championship.

Palace: Morgan, Cowan, Johnson, Pearse, Coombs, Barton, Nicol (McClean 81), Churchill (Everett 68), Haines (Wilson 90), Clifford (Baptiste 90), Sharpe.

Subs not used: Orman, Farrow, Waldie, McLean.

Reading: Moloney, Woodham, Roberts (Peplow 80), Bryson, Evans, Vanhaevermaet, Eikeland, Primmer, Harries, Harding (Chaplen 64), Dowie (Rose (64).

Subs not used: Stewart, Poulter, MacDonald, Lister, Woodcock.