Report: SAFC Women 1-2 Crystal Palace Women

Sunderland Women were unable to hold on their lead as they were beaten by Crystal Palace Women in the Barclays Women’s Championship at Eppleton.


Liz Ejupi made it 1-0 in the 37th minute, with Annabel Blanchard equalising six minutes later.


Lizzie Waldie’s 81st-minute goal allowed Palace to travel back down south with all three points.


Mel Reay’s side started positively, allowing Palace to have the ball and pressing at every opportunity.


After successful pressure, Ejupi released Emma Kelly down the right side, but her cross-shot was tame and held by Fran Kitching.


The Lasses broke again with Neve Herron surging through the middle of the park, releasing Kelly to put a cross in which was returned to the marauding centre half, but her shot was saved.


Sunderland’s positive start was rewarded when Jessica Brown drove down the left, forcing a stop from the Palace goalkeeper, with Ejupi positioned perfectly to tap home the rebound.


The Eagles made sure the Lasses’ lead didn’t last long, with Blanchard finding space in the box and striking past Claudia Moan to make it level at half-time.


Kelly and Ejupi combined again in the second half, this time the former feeding in the latter, with the striker’s shot forcing a good block from the Palace defender.


The visitors took the lead late into the second half as a corner was whipped to the far post, with Waldie on hand to finish the cross.


The Lasses had a big opportunity to level in the dying embers of the game, with Herron forcing a stop from the ‘keeper, and Grace Ede’s rebound went just wide.


With results elsewhere, Sunderland have confirmed Championship status for next season, but focus is still on the remaining three games, with Bristol City up next at Eppleton after the international break.



SAFC Women: Moan, Beer, Herron, Westrup, Morgan, McPartlan (McCatty 85’), D.Brown, Kelly ©, Joice (Ede 85’), J.Brown (Watson 69’), Ejupi.


Substitutes: Cowling, Borthwick, McInnes, Griffiths.

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