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Match Report

WC: Crystal Palace v Coventry United

Crystal Palace top the table after comfortable victory over Coventry United

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Crystal Palace Women

29 August 2022

Crystal Palace made it two wins out of two in the Championship on Saturday evening at Hayes Lane with a 3-0 victory over Coventry United.

Molly Sharpe opened the scoring just before half time and Annabel Blanchard and Elise Hughes added further goals in the second half. This result means Coventry are still looking for their first points of the season.

Dean Davenport made two changes to Palace’s starting 11 from their 1-0 win over London City Lionesses last weekend, with Molly Sharpe and Kirsten Reilly coming in for Elise Hughes and Chloe Peplow. Lee Burch also made two changes for Coventry United from their opening weekend defeat to Bristol City with Jodie Bartle and Fran Orthodoxou replacing Freya Thomas and Arabella Suttie.

The home side started well and an early scramble in the Coventry penalty area was eventually put behind, Blanchard then shot wide in the 6th minute. Palace were playing some really nice football with Annabel Johnson’s through ball finding Sharpe but a foul was given in the end, Coral Haines also found Blanchard in space but the offside flag went up.

Coventry United’s first chance came in the 17th minute when they intercepted the ball and Katy Morris shot wide from long range. This led to a spell with chances at both ends with Palace having the next one when Anna Filbey shot wide in the 20th minute. A minute later at the other end, Simran Jhamat sent a shot wide as both sides went looking for the opening goal.

Palace did have the ball in the net in the 23rd minute but Blanchard was deemed to be offside. Five minutes later, Coventry United came close to going ahead when Morris sent a cross in that deflected off Palace defender Johnson and thankfully for her straight into the hands of Fran Kitching.

A dangerous low cross from Palace was put behind in the 30th minute, and from the resulting corner Haines shot wide. Coventry United were playing six across the back at times and were proving difficult to break down. Palace saw Blanchard’s free kick on the edge of the area hit the wall and Haines effort from the rebound was blocked.

Isabella Sibley ran through for Palace in the 35th minute but the Coventry defence stopped this before she got a shot at goal. Blanchard shot just wide three minutes later but the offside flag was up again anyway. In the 41st minute, Coventry had another chance when Morris found Meesha Dudley Jones but her shot was saved.

Crystal Palace took the lead in the final minute of the first half with a nice goal. Filbey’s lovely through ball found Sharpe in the area who put the ball into the net with her left foot.

At the start of the second half, Coventry put in a dangerous cross that was claimed by Kitching. Blanchard put a low cross in for Palace in the 55th minute that was cleared. Five minutes later, Filbey saw her shot from outside the area deflected wide. Orthodoxou put an effort from about 40 yards wide for Coventry in the 64th minute.

Palace made it 2-0 in the 65th minute with another nice goal. This time, Elise Hughes provided the through ball which found Blanchard who controlled and finished with a curling shot into the corner of the net for her first goal for the club.

Two minutes later, Aimee Everett put an effort over from a corner as Palace looked for more goals. Blanchard had another shot from outside the area saved in the 75th minute.

Coventry were still creating some chances with Jhamat shooting into the side netting, and Merrick Will’s long range shot was easily claimed by Kitching.

Palace had further chances in the final five minutes of the match with Filbey sending a free kick straight into the hands of Jodie Whiteman, and Blanchard sending in a low cross that was also claimed by the Coventry goalkeeper.

Four minutes of additional time were signalled and during those Palace scored their third. Blanchard’s low shot was well saved by Whiteman but the rebound fell to Hughes who finished from six yards out for which was also her first goal for The Eagles.

The Palace players celebrated in front of their fans at the end of the match after a good performance that sees them go top of the league, though still very early days. Their next match after the international break is away to undefeated Birmingham City on the 11th September. Coventry United will go looking for their first points when they take on Charlton Athletic at home on the same day.

Line ups

Crystal Palace: Kitching, Johnson, Everett, Filbey, Reilly (Noble 79’), Arthur (Olding 79’), Doran (Barton 79’), Blanchard, Haines (Guyatt 69’), Sibley, Sharpe (Hughes 46’)

Unused substitutes: Negri, Waldie

Goals: Sharpe 45’, Blanchard 65’, Hughes 90’+

Coventry United: Whiteman, Mann (Rabjohn 74’), Bartle, Gane, Hoare, Alexander, Morris, Orthodoxou (Wiseman 67’), Jhamat (Milne-Redhead 85’), Will, Dudley-Jones (Davies 67’)

Unused substitutes: Smith, Thomas

Referee – Ella Broad

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