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Report: Eagles secure point against high-flying Blades

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Crystal Palace Women and second-place Sheffield United Women shared the spoils at Hayes Lane after playing out a goalless draw.

Summary

  • Two changes from the game against Liverpool last weekend, with Lizzie Waldie and Sophie McLean coming in for Grace Coombs and Molly Sharpe

  • McLean nearly made an instant impact as she fired just over the bar in the opening minute

  • Emily Orman in the Palace goal denied Maddy Cusack five minutes in

  • Play was delayed quite a bit due to injuries to Frances Kitching and Charley Clifford

  • Half-time: Crystal Palace Women 0-0 Sheffield United

  • Siobhan Wilson almost scored directly from a corner 55 minutes in

  • Orman denied Sophie Watson’s shot from a narrow angle

  • Waldie hit the post deep into injury time

  • Full-time: Crystal Palace Women 0-0 Sheffield United

The Eagles welcomed the Blades to Hayes Lane for their third home clash in their fourth game of the FA Women’s Championship.

Dean Davenport named a strong starting XI, with Sophie McLean making her first start in place of Molly Sharpe.

Palace started the first-half brightly, with McLean nearly making an instant impact just seconds into the game. Her effort from outside the box was just narrowly over the bar.

The visitors had their first sight of goal in five minutes after kick-off through Maddy Cusack, though her effort was well saved by Emily Orman in the Palace goal.

The Blades enjoyed the lion’s share of possession in the first-half, but it was Palace who had the best chance in the 23rd minute. Coral Haines’ effort from the edge of the box was parried out into the path of an onrushing Millie Farrow, but the Palace No. 9 couldn’t capitalise from close range.

Play was delayed for a while due to an injury to the Sheffield United ‘keeper Frances Kitching shortly after that chance, and then once again as Palace’s Charley Clifford suffered a head injury.

With seven minutes added on, the Blades amped up the pressure, but skipper Annabel Johnson, Lizzie Wladie and Gracie Pearse stood firm in defence to keep the scores level.

The heavens opened miraculously in south London as the second-half kicked off, briefly lowering the momentum of the sides as they searched for an opener.

Palace almost took the lead 10 minutes into the half through Siobhan Wilson. The winger almost scored directly from a corner as her floated ball nearly crept in under the post.

After the hour-mark, the game opened up and Palace were in the ascendancy. Wilson came close once more after excellent pressing from the front by Farrow and second-half substitute Molly Sharpe.

The Blades did have chances of their own, the best of which falling to striker Sophie Watson, though they did not really trouble Orman in the Palace goal.

Palace pushed for a winner in the final 10 minutes, spurred on by the loyal home support, and came close with almost the last kick of the game.

A succession of corners in the three minutes of injury time saw Lizzie Waldie head on to the post and the resulting goalmouth scramble was somehow cleared off the line by the recovering Sheffield United defenders.

The final whistle blew shortly after, and the points were shared in Bromley. Palace recorded their first clean sheet of the season as they moved on to five points from their first five games.

Crystal Palace: Orman, Johnson, Waldie, Pearse, Everett, McLean (Sharpe 68), Clifford (Barton 61), Haines, Cowan, Farrow (Baptiste 87), Wilson.

Subs not used: Nicol, Coombs, Morgan, Churchill.

Sheffield United: Kitching, Newsham, Bourne (Rayner 70), Robert, Lipka, Sweetman-Kirk, Cusack, Watson, Clarke, Walton, Bradley-Auckland.

Subs not used: Wilson, Paul, Wilcock, Syme, Docherty.