Araya Dennis replaced Bailey-Gayle at half-time and immediately got into the action. She won the ball in the opposition half and drove towards goal before being dragged down by Amy Goddard, who received a booking.
The Black Cats amped up the pressure on 56 minutes and almost found an equaliser when Dear headed narrowly over the bar following a Mary McAteer cross from the right.
Another attack came shortly after when Ejupi steered a header over Negri’s goal just after the hour mark, again Sunderland gaining their best opportunities down the right, Jessica Brown this time with the cross.
Just a minute later, Palace threatened to double their advantage as Dennis was denied by Moan one-on-one from a Hughes flick-on.
The pinball element of the game continued over the next few minutes. Sunderland came close through Ede’s off-target effort in the area before Blanchard was through on goal via an excellent ball in-behind from Dennis – but Moan yet again stood strong and made another good save.
Play stopped for a period when Dennis went down following a strong collision; both sets of physios provided support, and thankfully Dennis was okay to continue.
The hosts piled pressure on with long balls into the box and in the final minute of normal time, Natasha Fenton’s lofted free kick was met by the head of Westrup to draw Sunderland level – a cruel blow for Palace's efforts.
In the ninth minute of added time, another free-kick entered the Palace box. Dear was denied at the first attempt, before Scarr’s follow up flashed just wide.
A back-and-forth game saw both Sunderland and Palace remain still unbeaten, dropping to fourth and third in the table respectively.
Laura Kaminski’s side will look ahead to their return after the international break to the VBS Community Stadium on Sunday 30th September, when they face Sheffield United.
Sunderland: Moan (GK), Brown, Goddard, Westrup, Griffiths, Fenton, Kitching, Dear, McAteer (Scarr, 84), Ede (Jones, 69), Ejupi (Watson, 69)
Subs: McCatty (GK), Rouse, McInnes, Borthwick, Cassap, Corbyn.
Palace: Negri (GK), Reilly, Everett, Nolan, Gibbons, Filbey (Arthur, 58), Hopcroft (Guyatt, 90), Bailey-Gayle (Dennis, 45), Blanchard, Sharpe, Hughes
Subs: Wright (GK), Cataldo, Potter, Doran