The Eagles net six as Blanchard soars once again
Annabel Blanchard netted a 15 minute hat-trick in Crystal Palace's 6-1 victory over the London City Lionesses
17 October 2023
A second successive home hat-trick from Annabel Blanchard helped Crystal Palace to a 6-1 win over London City Lionesses on Sunday in the Women’s Championship. The Eagles other goals came from Molly Sharpe, Shanade Hopcroft and Anna Filbey, whilst Filbey also put the ball into her own net for the Prides consolation goal.
There were no shots at goal in the opening 15 minutes for either side though a dangerous Palace cross caused the visitors defence problems, and a free kick for the home side was punched clear by Grace Moloney. Danielle Carter had the first opportunity for the away side but her effort was blocked after some nice build up play.
The hosts took the lead in the 21st minute when Sharpe finished from close-range after Blanchard’s shot had been blocked and the ball rolled forward to her.
Four minutes later, the Pride equalised when Emma Mukandi’s inswinging corner went into the net off the unlucky Filbey.
Maddi Wilde had the next attempt at goal for the away side in the 38th minute but her shot was easily saved by Natalia Negri. A minute later at the other end, Aimee Everett sent a low shot across the front of goal but no one was there to finish though it wouldn’t have counted as a foul was given.
In the 41st minute, Chantelle Boye-Hlorkam won the ball for the Lionesses but saw her shot saved when one on one with the keeper. Seconds later, the same player sent an effort well over.
Palace retook the lead in the third minute of stoppage time when Hopcroft scored against her former club with a shot from 25-yards that bounced into the bottom corner.
Blanchard scored the third goal the home side in the 47th minute when her free kick from wide on the left edge of the penalty area curled into the top corner past Moloney.
Four minutes later, a deep free kick was sent into the area which the keeper pushed out only as far as Filbey who smashed the rebound into the net from 6-yards to make it 4-1 to the Eagles.
Blanchard was played in by Hopcroft in the 54th minute and finished low from the edge of the area to score the Crystal Palace’s fifth goal.
The hosts were awarded a penalty in the 62nd minute after Wilde had been penalised for a handball in the area. Blanchard took the spot kick and sent it low into the corner to complete her hat-trick in 16 minutes and make it 6-1.
The chances kept coming for the home side with Sharpe, who was finding a lot of space on the left side of their attack, seeing a low shot saved a few minutes later, and then her long-range effort was kept out by Moloney.
The visitors were still creating the old half chance but nothing to really threaten the Palace goal though Boye-Hlorkam had an effort saved in the 73rd minute.
Paige Satchell charged forward from the halfway line in the 88th minute for the away side but Kirsten Reilly got back to make a vital tackle and put the ball behind for a corner.
Ten minutes of stoppage time were signalled, and the only chance during these fell to the Eagles Shauna Guyatt who shot over in the final minute. The final whistle went shortly after as Laura Kaminski’s side completed their second high scoring home win in a row following their 9-1 win over Durham at the VBS Community Stadium in September.
The win moves Crystal Palace up to third in the Championship table, a point behind both Southampton and Sunderland though the Eagles do have a game in hand. London City Lionesses remain in ninth position, a point above the relegation zone.
On Sunday, Palace travel to The Valley to take on Charlton Athletic whilst the Pride return home to Princes Park where they face Southampton.
Crystal Palace: Negri, Gibbons (Cataldo 78’), Filbey (Potter 81’), Everett (c), Sharpe (Watson 81’), Hughes, Blanchard, Reilly, Nolan, Doran (Dennis 69’), Hopcroft (Guyatt 69’)
Unused substitutes: Lambourne, Johnson, Bailey-Gayle
Goals – Sharpe 21’, Hopcroft 45’+3, Blanchard 47’, 54’, (pen) 63’, Filbey 51’
Booked - Everett
London City Lionesses: Moloney, Neville, Mukandi, Brougham, Joel (c), Groves (Alexander 90’+4), Fitzgerald, Carter, Wilde (Satchell 63’), Culver, Boyle-Hlorkam (Scofield 75’)
Unused substitutes: Dolby, Fraser, Hillyard
Goal – Filbey (o.g) 25’/
Booked – Joel, Mukandi
Referee – Phoebe Cross
Attendance - 816