WC: Crystal Palace v Lewes
Crystal Palace earn a 4-1 win over Lewes at their last home game of the season in a match that had just about everything
Crystal Palace FC Women
23 April 2023
Molly-Mae Sharpe gave Palace an early lead before Hollie Olding sank a long-distance effort to double it less than ten minutes later.
Palace had the better grasp of the first half and their back three of Annabel Johnson, Aimee Everett and Fliss Gibbons were able to cut out Lewes’ attacking play along both wings which were areas the visitors targeted most often.
Lewes had their first clear-cut chance 20 minutes in, but the tame strike did little to trouble Kitching who scooped it up with ease.
Kirsty Barton and Paula Howells’ link-up play began to take shape along the left hand side towards the end of the half as the duo were able to progress into the final third. However, Olding and Johnson were mostly able to contain this threat and Lewes struggled to play threatening balls into the area.
The visitors did manage to pull one back just before the 45-minute mark after the referee awarded a somewhat soft penalty for a shove in the box. The game had begun to take a bit of turn leading up to this point with a few spiky challenges and confrontations, as well as a purposeful ball to the face of the official from Charlotte Wardlaw that was left unpunished.
Grace Palmer cooly converted Lewes’ spot kick with a ground shot that evaded Kitching before the Eagles won a penalty of their own at the opposite end. Coral-Jade Haines stepped up and made no mistake in taking Palace’s tally to three just before the half time whistle.
The game had barely restarted when a challenge on Emily Kraft by Anna Filbey saw the Lewes forward need medical attention. Kraft hit her head hard on the grass as Filbey swept across to challenge the ball and precaution was taken to ensure Kraft received the appropriate treatment for a head trauma.
After a lengthy stoppage, Kraft was stretchered off to applause from both the Lewes and Palace supporters and taken to hospital. Lewes later communicated that Kraft had been checked over and was given the all clear to be discharged.
The injury understandably took a lot of the sting out of the game, which served as a helping hand to the officials whose level of control was hanging with fingertips only.
It was the visitors though who had the better chances of the second half and were denied an hour in with a gargantuan double save from Kitching.
Ellie Mason fashioned another clear-cut chance for Lewes five minutes after the 90 when she carried the ball into the area and went one-on-one with the keeper. Mason let the shot fly but aimed toward the middle of the goal where Kitching was ready and waiting.
Just four minutes later, Riana Dean netted Palace’s fourth of the day and finished up a successful day at home for the Eagles.
Crystal Palace: Kitching (GK), A Johnson (C), Everett, Gibbons, Olding, Filbey, Blanchard, Doran, Hughes, Haines, Sharpe
Subs: Negri (GK), Dean (84’), Bailey-Gayle (90+1’), Guyatt (90+1’)
Goals: Sharpe 3’, Olding 11’, Haines (p) 45+5’, Dean 90+10’
Lewes: Whitehouse (GK), Wardlaw (90+18’), Cleverly (C) (90’), Weir, McKenna (90’), Hazard, Palmer, Barton, Kraft (58’), Mason, Howells
Subs: N Johnson (90’), Thompson (90’), Copus-Brown (90+18’), Mushtaq (58’), Pursey, Longhurst, Dalton, Moore, Angel
Booked: Palmer, Barton, Kraft, Howells