C&K Basildon Ladies 2-2 Crystal Palace Ladies: The Eagles Secure a Draw to Stay in the Top 5 of the WPL South

23rd March 2017
Dara Wilson.

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On Sunday, Palace Ladies encountered C&K Basildon in the Women’s Premier League Southern Division in a 5th vs. 6th battle. Following their promotion last season, Palace have been very successful in the 2016-17 campaign, only losing two of their thirteen games.

A 2-2 draw concluded the match, Gemma Bryan scoring a brace. After the game, we interviewed the Palace Ladies manager- Dean Davenport:

Q1. How did you approach this game, given C&K Basildon’s position in the league? 

“Our approach to the Basildon game was no different than any other game, to be honest. We had worked on a game plan and a couple of things during the week’s training. The most important aspect was not to get beaten, as any points gained would move us further away from them to potentially secure us a top five finish. It was also to get the players’ minds back into game mode, since we didn’t play a game for another two weeks prior. We knew that Sunday was going to be a physical game; I told my players that they must stand up to the physical challange first and foremost, then their footballing abilities would shine through.”

Q2. Palace took the lead within the first half hour, but the opposition equalised on the stroke of half time. Can you talk us through the events of the first half?

“We started the game very brightly and dictated play straight from kick off. As we predicted, Basildon played on the physical aspect of the game, hooking balls on and getting tackles in early. The girls knew this and matched them all the way, which led to us going through the gears a lot quicker and finding a foothold in the game before they did.

I was very pleased after twenty minutes with the way we scored our goal. We were well on top of the game and from our goalkeeper’s pass out from the back, which was in a tight area, our defenders started a passing move that saw Gemma Bryan one on one with the keeper; she finished her 16th goal of this season. Basildon were always going to be strong at set plays and this was highlighted to the players. However, just before half time, it was a set play that we didn’t quite compete for, the ball finding its way into our goal via the head of Basildon’s centre forward.”

Q3. Tactically, did you make any changes in the second half?

“The half time team talk was really positive; the players came in really upbeat, as they knew that they had done really well. From a tactical side, I made no real change as we were well on top. It was more of the same, asking our players not to go away from our principles and to keep the ball moving when in possession, and when we were off the ball to be narrow and become two sets of blockers.”

Q4. What did you make of the second half? 

” The second half started like the first half;  we were bright with the ball and always competed. Ten minutes into the half, a great ball from Haydock found Bryan, who out-powered her marker to get around the keeper for her second goal of the game. Unfortunately, we didn’t quite get to the next level. We let Basildon back into the game and, to be fair to them, they put pressure on our defenders with their constant direct balls towards our goal. One of these payed off, as, when we were switched off, it allowed Basildon to score and earn themselves a point.”

Q5. Were you satisfied with the result? Was it fair?

“We were frustrated not to win the game, and Basildon did enough to contribute to us not winning. However, I thought that we played well enough to win the game but the main focus was not to get beaten, which is what what we did. In that sense, we were really satisfied with the performance.”

Palace’s next fixture is on Sunday, as the side visit top of the table Tottenham Hotspur.

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Paul Walker Q&A: Reflecting on the League and Preparing for the Sussex Cup Final

23rd March 2017
Dara Wilson

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Source: Crawley Wasps
Crawley Wasps have had a remarkable season, winning twelve of their eighteen league games in the London & South East Women’s Regional League. The aim for Paul Walker, the first team manager, is to gain promotion to the Women’s Premier League. Unfortunately, a 4-2 defeat to London Corinthians at Lancing Stadium on Sunday squandered promotion hopes for this season, as the Wasps have played all of their league games. Leyton Orient are comfortably league leaders with forty points and three games in hand of Crawley, who trail behind by one point.

 After the match, we interviewed Paul Walker:

Q1. London Corinthians are a big team in the league, as they’re just one place behind Crawley Wasps. What was your plan ahead of this major league fixture? 

A. “London Corinthians are the only side to have beaten Leyton Orient this season, who are the league leaders. This season, we have drawn with Orient and we did lose at home, so we knew that it would be a tough game. However, we did beat Corinthians at their ground earlier in the season. With the strength of our squad, the form that we’re in, and the fact that we have been on a thirteen game unbeaten run, I was very confident that we could dominate the game.

They are a good side; they have some very quick forwards and like to play the long ball. They are very competitive at our level and a very consistent side, but I did expect to win the game. Tactically, our aim was to high press the other team with the wind behind us, since the weather conditions were challenging. Our aim was to play deep into their half and not give them any time, using our pace up front and passing the ball well.”

Q2. What were your thoughts on the first half? 

A. “In the first half, our planned tactics worked really well. We were by far the dominant side and had the advantage of the wind, so we penned them in their half for the first forty five minutes. We should’ve been two or three goals up; we didn’t put away the amount of chances that we had. We overplayed it a little bit in the final third when we had the chance to have good shots on goal.”

Q3. Did you change any tactics in the second half?

A. “The wind was going to be a lot more challenging in the second half. At half time we discussed how London Corinthians would be more adventurous, and they do play the long ball a lot. Tactically, we spoke to the team about ensuring that we kept the intensity of the game; pressed them into their half; maintained that pressure; and kept in mind the challenges of the wind, as their set pieces would go a lot further.

Those tactics in the first fifteen minutes of the second half got us the first goal, which was great. However, we then conceded directly from a corner. We unfortunately conceded again a bit later, being caught by a long ball over the top. Corinthians were dangerous on the break and they had very quick forwards, so it was a challenge for our back four.

We played some fantastic football to get back into the game a few minutes later, equalising. It was at that point where we should have changed our tactics, because we only needed a draw out of the game. However, by the time it would have taken me to walk from one dugout to another, we conceded again. We went out to chase the game again and searched for an equalising goal, but our chances were not converted into goals. At the end of the match, we conceded again from a long ball, as we were pressing high.”

Q5. What will you take from this match going into the Sussex County Cup Final tonight? 

A. “The first thing we need to do is get over the disappointment from Sunday and focus on a really exciting final. We can take a few lessons from Sunday’s game, such as taking our chances, not over playing the ball in the final third and getting our shots away.”

Following their final league match of the season, the main focus for Crawley Wasps is their cup final against Brighton & Hove Albion this evening. The opposition are currently competing in the Women’s Super League 2, which is the second tier of women’s football. Although the side are new to the league, they are an established team with excellent players.

Paul Walker discussed his thoughts ahead of the game:

“We will be up against an extremely talented side. They play three levels higher than us, in the WSL 2. Their first team do not have a game this weekend, so we’re planning for a very strong Brighton side. There are quite a few of their players on international duty, so we think that they will be a squad of first team players mixed with development players. Tactically, this means that we are going to be up against a side which is very adept with their passing game and extremely well drilled in terms of how they move the ball.

We have played teams at a higher level, and when we have been on top form against those teams, we have been very successful. As a coaching team, we will discuss with the ladies how we need to take that type of disciplined performance into the game to try and compete with the Brighton side.

The important thing for us is that we are in the game after the first twenty minutes. Subsequently, we will be planning this game in phases. Based upon where we are in the first twenty minutes, we will look at how we can evolve the game and the tactics.

Brighton have strength all over the pitch. They are very strong in the wide positions and are able to get the ball into the positions early- they have lots of pace out wide. In the midfield area, they are going to be strong; if they play players like Kirsty Barton, who used to be with Crawley Wasps as a youth player, it will be a challenge. 

What is most important to us is that the ladies play at the level which they can play and do the things well which they have been doing week in and week out. If we can play at the level that we can play at when we are at our best, compete with the Brighton players, and have a little bit of luck, we will be very competitive in the game tonight. The most important thing is that, at the end, the players are proud of their performance and enjoy the evening.”

TONIGHT | CRAWLEY WASPS LFC V BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION | SUSSEX COUNTY FA GROUND, LANCING  | 19:15 KO

Chichester Ladies collect another three points as the side look for promotion to the WPL South

Table toppers Chichester City defeated Exeter 5-0 on Sunday afternoon, keeping their title threat going. Exeter currently sit at the bottom of the WPL South West Division, in 12th, and have only collected one point out of twelve games.

The victory proved to be crucial as Plymouth Argyle, who claim second place, thrashed Maidenhead United 6-0. Although the Pilgrims are trailing thirteen points behind Chichester, the side face a fixture backlog of four games.

After the match, BOTN interviewed first team manager, Liam Greenfield:

Q1. What was your tactical approach to the game? What style of football do Exeter play?

A. “Exeter kept almost all of their players behind the ball and made space a premium in their defensive third, so it was important to be patient today and move the ball quickly.” 

Q2. Molly Clark and Luice Challen both scored in the first forty five minutes to give Chichester the lead. Can you talk us through the first half?

A. “The team started well; we knew that we would see a lot of the ball, so it was important to get the breakthrough and not have meaningless possession. Molly’s goal came early after a good ball from the right by Lauren and Molly was able to finish coolly from inside the box. The team kept the pressure on for the entire half and I think that Exeter only managed one foray into our box via a set piece. We created several chances, hitting the woodwork at couple of times. It was just a reward when Lucie scored direct from a corner- her deliveries were superb all day.”

Q3. What was the message during the half time talk?

A. “We spoke about being a bit calmer in the final third and taking a bit more time when it came to our finishing. The patience was there in the build up, but we just needed to stay patient in and around the box.”

Q4. Another three goals were scored after half time. What were the highlights of the second half?

A. “There were several moments where our build play was sublime. However, we were just unable to apply the finishing touch.”

Q5. Overall, what were the best parts of your performance? What improvements can be made?

A. “Our patience was impressive today. We didn’t often rush things and continued to look to find space in a very tight and congested final third. We still could have scored more in the second half and I don’t think that the score line really reflects the dominance we asserted. We hit the woodwork a good number of times and our shot selection was a little off, so that is something we will look to work on.”

In their next match, Chichester Ladies encounter QPR in a friendly, which will take place on Sunday.

In the league, the side face promotion contenders Plymouth Argyle on Sunday 9th April.

Lewes Ladies: A Campaign of Honour for Women’s Football from 1917-21

Lewes LFC – a Women’s Premier League South team – have had an exceptional week defeating Leicester City 1-0 in the WPL Plate Semi-Final on Sunday. A goal from Georgia Bridges in the 63rd minute separated the sides with Lewes progressing to the final on the 17th April, where they will face Huddersfield.

Aside of the cup, Lewes will launch a campaign to promote the history of women’s football in their last four home games of the season- starting on Sunday, as the side encounter QPR in the league.

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The Rise and Fall of Women’s Football: 1917-1921

During the First World War, the popularity of women’s football increased dramatically. Whilst the men fought on the front line, women remained on the home front; many people worked in factories, others taking up jobs which used to be inaccessible to women- police officers and firefighters became female-dominated.

The Munitionettes’ Cup started in August 1917, which included a range of clubs. In the first competition, Blythe Spartans thrashed Bolckow Vaughan (a team based in Middlesbrough) 5-0.

A historical football team, Dick, Kerr’s Ladies FC, was named after a company which owned an ammunitions factory in Preston. Originally joining in 1914, the women worked in the factory and played informal football matches to boost the morale. After defeating the men’s side, the women decided to form their own team: Dick, Kerr’s Ladies FC. Alfred Frankland acquired a managerial role, arranging a match against Arundel Coulthard Factory which attracted approximately 10,000 spectators. Winning 4-0, the side proved to be a success. In fact, the team won a total of 758 games out of 828 during their forty eight year existence. Dick, Kerr’s continued to attract large crows, 53,000 people attending a Boxing Day match at Goodison Park in 1920.

Despite the success, participation in women’s football declined after World War One. As men rejoined British society, they claimed back their jobs- and pastimes- which women had previously enjoyed. By 1920, more than one million women were no longer employed. Eight years later, domestic service was the most common type of work for women.

Although women enjoyed some success in the years following the war, such as the 1919 Sex Disqualification Act (which precluded men from denying women work based on their sex), football was still an issue. The problem became progressively worse, the FA eventually banning women’s football on the 5th December 1921.

The ban lasted for fifty years. 

Women’s Football: The Revival 

In England:

The Women’s FA was formed in 1968, a few years before the ban was lifted. However, its existence was short-lived as the governing body was disbanded in 1993. Instead, the FA decided to take control of women’s football.

Once the ban was lifted, the WFA created the Women’s National League as the top tier in football. In 1992, its name was changed to the Women’s Premier League to match the top men’s league. Eventually, in 2011, the Women’s Super League was established, which is the current top tier of women’s football.

Internationally:

In 1984, the first women’s European Championship was held in Sweden. The hosts emerged victorious, whilst England claimed runners-up. Another step forward was taken in 1991, as the USA won the first ever Women’s World Cup, which took place in China.


 

Women’s football is still growing today, as more clubs are founded and more players join. Through Lewes Ladies’ campaign, we can help promote women’s football and increase participation.

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Q&A with Dean Davenport: Crystal Palace Ladies 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur Ladies

img_3465By Dara Wilson.

On Sunday, Crystal Palace encountered Tottenham in the FA Capital Cup semi-final. Despite Palace taking the lead after sixteen minutes, a penalty shootout ensured Spurs’ progression to the final, where they will face Charlton Athletic.

After the match, we interviewed the Palace Ladies manager, Dean Davenport:

Q. What message did you convey to your players prior to the match? How did you prepare your team?

A.  “The preperation for the game against Tottenham started a week or so prior to the game, as we hadn’t played for a few weeks. We had worked on a game plan during the sessions and the players were very comfortable with what we were asking them to do. The actual game day prep never changed, it was just about going over the structure of the team, its shape and asking them to carry out all of the hard work that they had done leading up to the start of the game.”

Q. What did you make of the first half? Can you highlight any particular strengths or weaknesses?

A.  “When we had possession, all we asked was to penetrate the defence of Spurs quickly, and   against the very strong winds we carried it out fantastically, with a number forays into Tottenham’s penalty area. The goal from Ellie Balies came from a quick combination pass and a delightful left footed strick into the top corner of Tottenham’s net.

One of our strengths was definitely the way the players stuck to the game plan. Also, their focus and discipline was really good, along with our quick counter attacks.

What we needed to do better included limiting the amount of balls into our box, along with the eagerness to make a challenge, which lead to sloppy free kicks in dangerous areas.”

Q. What did the half time talk entail and did your players respond?

A. “The half time team talk was just about calming the players down, as going in at the break 1-0 up was important to us. I knew that we had to stay concentrated and, with the wind, asked them to be more in charge of the ball.

I thought the players where really positive in the 2nd half; they defended well and, with the wind, our attacking strengths showed. Even when Tottenham got the equaliser, the character shown was equally as positive. With the chances, we should have won the tie.”

Q. Can you pick out any key players that made a difference during the match?

A. “I honestly cannot pick out any key players, because, as a team, every player did what I asked of them- and more! They were a credit to the club. When a tie is decided by penalties, it’s always cruel if you’re on the losing side, but I told the players that we will learn from the experience and it will only make us stronger as a unit. From me and the management team, we couldn’t have been prouder, but now we are focusing on Portsmouth FC next Sunday.”

BOTN Radio: 07-02-2017: Crystal Palace Ladies join us in the studio

 

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L to R: John Harney (CPLFC Vice Chairman), Katie Shanahan (Co-Presenter), Ben Eltham (Presenter), Dara Wilson (Co-Presenter), Freya Holdaway (CPLFC Captain) and Dean Davenport (CPLFC First Team Manager)

 

This week we welcomed the Vice Chairman, Manager and Captain of Crystal Palace Ladies FC to co-host the show. Despite missing a training session to be in the studio, a fitness forfeit was up for the taking when Dean and Freya went head-to-head in Higher Or Lower. With only one winner, you’ll have to listen below to see who will be doing extra laps in Thursdays training session…

The key discussions in the first hour include: the Women’s football pyramid, Crystal Palace’s phenomenal contributions to girls and ladies football (24 teams!) and ambitions of Super League Two.

The show also includes plenty of Ryman football chat, both Premier and South- From top scorer, to top of the league, to season targets. Marc White (manager of Dorking Wanderers’), Jamie Howell (manager of Bognor Regis), Frank Wilson (manager of Tooting & Mitcham United), Matt Blake (striker for Leiston, and current top scorer of the Ryman Premier), Malcolm Porter (manager of South Park) and Junior Kadi (Dulwich Hamlet) all joined us.

Gavin Gordon of Redhill FC also came on the show, his side are currently battling for top spot of the Combined Counties Division One, and have had a very impressive unbeaten run!

Coaches Corner welcomed the Surrey FA, and they share with us how they can help you. Craig Hicks, Mike Gilham, Emma Barnes, Peter Augustine all share with us their roles, and answer scenario questions.

Who Am I? and The Final Whistle both make a comeback, and debutant feature The Non-League Football Quiz makes the starting line up. With bragging rights up for grabs, and dishes in the sink, who out of our co-presenters and producers has the best and worst non-league knowledge?

Three Match Ban(d)s welcomed The Sheratones and OVER-SCORE to take on the Quick-Fire Quiz, position themselves in the League Table and introduce their music.

LISTEN AGAIN:

Team Line-Up: Luke Prior, Ben Eltham, Remy Sylvester, Dara Wilson and Katie Shanahan.

A late goal secures Palace Ladies another 3 points in the WPL South

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On Sunday, Palace Ladies encountered QPR in the Women’s Premier League Division South. QPR are currently 10th in the table, level on points with last placed West Ham. Dean Davenport, the Palace manager, described the match as:

 “A massive game, as QPR are not in the best shape. I thought we could pick up some points, going on from our win against West Ham.”

Davenport was pleased with his team’s performance, saying:

“Having tweaked a few things in training, I thought that the players started really positively. We kept the ball for long periods of time and dictated the play from the start, something which I have been trying to emphasise for some time, starting well.”

In spite of their form and league position, QPR fought valiantly:

Although QPR are going through a rough time  and are scrapping for points to stay in the league, they defended very well and, through a mixture of good defending and good goalkeeping, we could have found ourselves 3-2 up at the break.” 

At half time, Davenport told his players:

 “Not to get frustrated or panic.”  

In the second half, the best chance fell to  Shakes, who stepped up to the penalty spot. However, her shot flew high and wide. In the 86th minute, Shakes redeemed herself by heading a free kick onto Gemma Bryan, who snatched a winner.

FT: Crystal Palace 1-0 QPR

After the match, Davenport commented:

“I have full praise for the team, as we have shown another side to our game. One of which is to stay focused and not panic as goals will come, no matter what time of the game they arrive.”

In their next fixture, Palace Ladies face C & K Basildon Ladies on the 12th February.

Surrey Senior Cup 2016-17: The Statistics

img_0206By Dara Wilson.

Latest Results

Home Away HT Score Final Result Home Scorers Away Scorers
Merstham Walton & Hersham (two tiers below Merstham) 3-0 5-1 Dan Bennett, Tutu Henriques, Dean McDonald, Reece Hall Sam Bates (OG), Jamil Okai
Woking Leatherhead 1-0 2-0 Charlie Carter (brace) N/A
Chertsey Town Kingstonian 1-0 1-0 Connor Cullen N/A
Epsom & Ewell Guilford City 0-1 1-2 Robert Hendry Kiye Martin, Mario Embalo
Badshot Lea Raynes Park Vale 0-0 0-2 N/A Unknown

 

Winners

Merstham, Woking, Chertsey Town, Guilford City, Raynes Park Vale

 League Form

Merstham

Over the Christmas period, Merstham struggled to pick up points. The Moatsiders won one game in December, drawing two and losing three.

However, the side were successful in cup matches. The side defeated Corinthian Casuals 5-2 in the Alan Turvey Trophy.

In January, Merstham drew 0-0 against local rivals Leatherhead. Following this, Hayden Bird’s side lost 2-1 to Hendon in the league.

 

Woking

Woking ended their seven game winless streak on Saturday, defeating Torquay United 2-1. Prior to the game, Woking had not won a league match since Tuesday 29th November.

In December, Woking lost three matches and also drew three.

In January, the side lost their first two league matches of the year to Aldershot Town and Wrexham.  However, the side most recently defeated Torquay 2-1.

 

Chertsey Town

Chertsey only won a single game in December, winning 2-1 against Hounslow United. The side lost four of their following five games and drew one.

In January, the side won their first match as they defeated Westfield 3-1. They also won 2-1 against Bedfont Sports on Saturday.

 

Guilford City

Guilford City also won one game in December, defeating Farnham Town 3-2. The side drew two and lost two.

In January, Guilford lost their first match 3-2 to Abbey Rangers. In their following game, they drew 2-2 against Raynes Park Vale. The side lost 3-1 to Knaphill on Saturday.

 

Raynes Park Vale

Raynes Park Vale have only won two matches in the last two months, which were both in the cup.

The side have not won a league match since Saturday 15th October.

They lost two games and drew one game in December, also losing two games and drawing one game in January.

 

Statistics by Century 

19th Century

  1. Reigate Priory won the first ever Surrey Senior Cup in 1882-83, defeating East Sheen 2-1.
  2. The side appeared in the first five finals of the Surrey Senior Cup
  3. In 1884, Priory lost 3-2 to Barnes and in 1885 they lost 2-1 to East Sheen
  4. In 1886, Reigate Priory defeated Dorking 2-0 to win their second Surrey Senior Cup
  5. Reigate Priory appeared in the Surrey Senior Cup final 10 times in the late 19th century

 

20th Century

  1. Redhill appeared in their first Surrey Senior Cup final in 1905, losing 3-1 to Dulwich Hamlet
  2. Redhill appeared in the final five times in the 20th Century
  3. They won the cup for the first time in 1929, defeating Epsom Town (now Epsom & Ewell) 3-2
  4. Redhill also won in 1966, defeating Sutton United 4-3
  5. Leatherhead won the Surrey Senior cup for the first time in 1969, defeating Redhill 3-1
  6. Epsom & Ewell won the Surrey Senior Cup for the first time in 1981, defeating Woking 2-1

 

21st Century

  1. Woking won the first Surrey Senior Cup of the 21st Century, defeating Croydon 1-0 in 2000.
  2. Sutton United have made it to the Surrey Senior Cup final five times in the 21st Century, but the U’s have only won one of those finals (2003, 2-1, vs. Kingstonian)

 

Interesting Facts

  1. This year is the 127th Surrey Senior Cup.
  2. Carshalton Athletic won the 100th Surrey Senior Cup in 1990, defeating Dorking 4-2.
  3. When Merstham defeated Whyteleafe 3-2 in the Surrey Senior Cup Final in 2008, the Moatsiders became the first club in the Combined Counties League to win the cup.
  4. Metropolitan Police hold the record for the longest time between successes in the Surrey Senior Cup. The side won in 1933, winning again in 2015. Their victories were 82 years apart.
  5. The first club to win the Surrey Senior Cup three years in succession was Tooting & Mitcham in 1976, 1977 & 1978.
  6. Sutton United have won the most cups in succession, winning six on the spin between 1983 and 1988.

 

Most Victories in the Surrey Senior Cup

*NOTE: Dulwich Hamlet no longer compete in the Surrey Senior Cup. They won their last SSC in 1975.

Team Winners Runners up
Dulwich Hamlet 16 6
Sutton United 15 13
Woking 12 16
Kingstonian 11 6

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Crystal Palace Ladies put six past the Hammers to take another 3 points

Photo taken from @PalaceLadiesFC

By Dara Wilson.

After a Christmas break, which followed a 3-0 victory over Swindon, the Eagles hosted West Ham United at Bromley. A 6-1 victory demoted the visitors to the bottom of the table, QPR clinching the penultimate position on goal difference. West Ham have collected just five points in thirteen games this season, winning one, drawing two and losing ten.

Crystal Palace are comfortably fifth in the table, taking a total of nineteen points out of eleven games. Tottenham claim first place, followed by Coventry, Cardiff and Charlton.

Manager  Dean Davenport described the game as:

“A perfect scenario for us, with the game being played at home.”

He also reflected on his side’s impressive form, saying:

“I’ve been asking the players over Christmas and the New year to think positively and to carry on the success of our last home game against Swindon Town.”

Davenport also revealed that several of his players returned from injury in the New Year, improving the depth of his squad. However, attacking midfielder Ciara Sherwood unfortunately picked up an ankle injury against West Ham.

Commenting on the match, he said:

“The actual game was really good to watch. West Ham have changed quite considerably since the last time we played them, playing some lovely football. Our first goal was key and we got that quite quickly through Gemma Bryan, but we weren’t quite where we wanted to be as West Ham worked hard. Once we got the second and pressed them high, we started to gain possession much quicker and we began to take control of the game.”

At half time, the manager told his players to take even more control and manage the game. The response which he received was perfect, as his side scored another three goals to secure the victory. Gemma Bryan completed a hat trick, Roschelle Shakes netted and brace and the injured Ciara Sherwood also featured on the scoresheet.

Crystal Palace have a couple of weeks without a game, but the Eagles encounter second placed Coventry on Sunday 29th January.

 

Crystal Palace LFC 3-0 Swindon Town LFC

By Dara Wilson.

Following two losses in successive cup matches, Crystal Palace Ladies returned to winning ways as the side defeated Swindon Town 3-0 on Sunday.

In early December, Palace hosted Charlton Athletic at Selhurst Park in the FA Cup. Despite taking a 1-0 lead, an excellent second half performance from the visitors precluded a victory. Tottenham Hotspur, who currently top the WPL South table, were the side’s next opponents. Injuries and illnesses for Palace limited Davenport’s options, ensuing a 4-1 defeat.

Collecting three points on Sunday, Crystal Palace are fifth in the table. The team are seven points behind fourth placed Charlton Athletic with a game in hand.

After the victory, Davenport stated:

Sunday’s game was a much welcomed one, not because it was against Swindon Town (who haven’t had the greatest of starts), but because the game was being played at Bromley FC- our home- which we haven’t played at since early October.”

The manager highlighted previous results and revealed injury news, saying:

Since both cup games did not go the way which we would have wanted, we thought, as a team, that this game was one where we could get back on track and try to push on in the league.”

During the week, we worked on being positive and productive in the things that we did as a team, moving on from the last two results. We went into the game with a major boost, as we welcomed back Ciara Sherwood from a nine week injury, and also the in-form striker Gemma Bryan, along with Megan Goss from last week’s illness.”

Gemma Bryan scored the first goal after thirty three minutes, receiving a subtle pass from Fran Ali and guiding the ball into the net. Davenport believed that more chances could have been created earlier, commenting:

The actual game started very evenly, both teams cancelling each other out and both keepers being called into action on a couple of occasions. If we had relaxed a little bit more and opened the pitch up, we would’ve start to create.”

Davenport was confident at half time, stating:

Going in at half time 2-0, with Bryan scoring her second, was a lead that I thought we could build on. My players expressed that the half started scrappy, as they wanted to put last week’s performance behind them, and show the management that the wrongs were being put right. I simply asked them to not let the game pass them by and to remain focused on the game in hand, not on the past performances. I thought the next goal would win the game.”

In the first twenty minutes of the second half, Gemma Bryan completed her hat trick and sealed the victory.

Final Score: Crystal Palace Ladies 3-0 Swindon Town Ladies

The side take a break over the Christmas period, hosting West Ham on the 8th January in their next fixture.