Report: Honours even as Eagles draw with top-of-table Sunderland
Crystal Palace Women put in a solid performance against table-topping Sunderland Ladies, which saw them come away with a point at a sunny Selhurst Park.
Dean Davenport made three changes to the side - bringing Bianca Baptiste, Millie Farrow and Gracie Pearse into the starting XI
Millie Farrow came close to opening the scoring 10 minutes in
Siobhan Wilson’s free-kick went just wide of the post
Farrow hit the post half an hour in
Half-time: Crystal Palace 0-0 Sunderland
Bianca Baptiste nearly put the Eagles in front from a counter attack
Farrow finished inside the box to put Palace ahead 66 minutes in
Sunderland levelled through Keira Ramshaw five minutes later
Haines hit the post with five minutes to go
Full-time: Crystal Palace 1-1 Sunderland
Having played out a seven-goal thriller in their opening clash of the season at Hayes Lane, the Eagles were welcomed to Selhurst Park with the Palace faithful in full voice.
The opening exchanges were fairly even for both sides, though Millie Farrow came close to putting the Eagles in front 10 minutes in. The Palace No. 9 latched on to a Siobhan Wilson cross, but her scuffed effort was dealt with by Claudia Moan in the Sunderland net.
A quarter of an hour in and the Black Cats had their first notable chance with a free-kick from 25-yards out. The tame effort from Charlotte Potts was well held by Palace ‘keeper Emily Orman.
Halfway through the first-half, the Eagles dialled upped the tempo and came agonisingly close to scoring. First through a Wilson free-kick from 20-yards out which went narrowly wide of the post and then through multiple efforts from Coral Haines and Bianca Baptiste.
Farrow came closest to opening the scoring for Palace on the half-hour mark, as she got on the end of another Wilson cross and rattled the post from inside the six-yard box.
Palace were firmly on top, with another chance falling to Kirsty Barton 10 minutes before half-time, though the visitors did have another chance through Jessica Brown which sailed over the bar.
The teams went in level at the break, and the Eagles started the second-half brightly. Baptiste started and nearly finished a counter attack in the 50th minute - sprinting from inside her own half to get on the end of a Farrow through ball, but firing just over the bar.
As the second-half developed, the game ebbed and flowed with half-chances coming for both teams. Just past the hour-mark, Palace got their noses in front through Farrow. The No.9 finished brilliantly inside the box after being picked out by a Haines cross.
The Eagles passed and probed, searching for another goal to get back in front and nearly got one five minutes from full-time. Haines headed a Wilson cross onto the post and the onrushing Baptiste had her effort charged down by the Sunderland defence.
That proved to be Palace’s best chance of securing all three points, as the final whistle brought an end to proceedings after four minutes of stoppage time.
Crystal Palace: Orman, Pearse (Cowan 73), Johnson, Waldie, Everett, Barton, Clifford, Haines, Baptiste, Wilson, Farrow (Sharpe 73).
Subs not used: Nicol, Churchill, Morgan, Coombs.
Sunderland: Moan, Beer, Potts, McCatty, Griffiths, Brown (Blakey 84), Kelly, Herron, Joice, Farrugia (Manders 61), Scarr (Ramshaw 61).
Subs not used: Mullen, Cowline, McInnes.