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Eagles clip the wings of Durham as league leaders are downed 3-1

By Football Reporter

Crystal Palace 3-1 Durham Millie Farrow’s injury-time strike helped Crystal Palace to a deserved 3-1 victory over FA Women’s Championship leaders Durham as they jumped up to fifth position. First-half goals from Bianca Baptiste and Siobhan Wilson secured a two-goal cushion before Becky Salicki’s goal halved Durham’s deficit but that wasn’t enough for the Wildcats to avoid just a second league defeat of the campaign. Crystal Palace got off to a flying start and took the lead in the opening three minutes when Baptiste retained the ball at the edge of the box and struck a low-driving effort into the bottom corner. The Eagles came close to doubling their lead after Kirsty Barton clipped a perfectly weighted cross over the Durham defence to put Wilson through on goal, who saw her effort parried wide of the post by Megan Borthwick. Three minutes later, Palace extended their lead. Leigh Nicol executed a wonderful pass that sent Wilson clear and through on goal as her deflected effort went past Borthwick. Another chance fell to Durham after some great work from Danielle Brown as she teed up Mollie Lambert, whose close-range effort was palmed away by Emily Orman. Lee Sanders’ side came out fighting and almost got on the scoresheet through Beth Hepple in the 54th minute as she curled her free-kick which went inches wide of the far post and she tried her luck again with a curling powerful effort that forced Orman into an astounding save. Durham continued to mount further pressure and pulled a goal back after Kathryn Hill squared the ball to Salicki, who tapped the ball into the empty net. In stoppage time, Coral-Jade Haines latched on to a defence-splitting pass ahead of the on-rushing Borthwick and found Farrow to slot the ball home to secure a valuable three points. To follow the action and sign up for The FA Player’s live Barclays FA Women’s Super League coverage visit Crystal Palace manager Dean Davenport said: “We’ve had a week where we had injuries and sickness in the camp, so it was difficult to put out a side that we knew were going to compete. “The first goal is always important. I’m glad Bianca Baptiste scored it and she’s been an outstanding player for us today. “The timing of the goal was fantastic for us and the second goal was even better. So for us to go in at half-time leading 2-0, it was the case for us to see what we can do in the second half. “At half-time, we told them to keep playing the way we’ve been playing. That’s the way they got us into the 2-0 lead. “The second half doesn’t always plan out as we would like them to. Our defensive display in the second half within our 18-yard box was outstanding because Durham do put pressure on you and they put balls in the box. They’ve got big players to try and connect from headers and set-pieces. “We are a team that love to attack and have been giving some stupid goals. We had to stay compact, stay narrow and win everything that comes into the box. “The key positive was our defensive display because we always score goals going forward with the players we’ve got. But defensively at times, it’s been questioned this season by teams outside of us and shown that we can defend as well as going forward.”

Crystal Palace: (4-3-3): Emily Orman; Annabel Johnson, Grace Coombs, Aimee Everett, Lizzie Waldie; Charley Clifford, Leigh Nicol, Kirsty Barton; Siobhan Wilson, Sophie McLean, Bianca Baptiste Substitutes: Millie Farrow for Clifford 69, Coral-Jade Haines for Nicol 76, Substitutes not used: Chloe Morgan, Leanne Cowan, Hannah Churchill, Molly-Mae Sharpe Goals: Baptiste 3, Wilson 18, Farrow 90+4 Bookings: McLean 90 +1, Farrow 90+8 Durham: (4-2-3-1): Megan Borthwick; Ellie Christon, Sarah Wilson, Kathryn Hill, Lauren Briggs; Mollie Lambert, Sarah Robson; Danielle Brown, Beth Hepple, Emily Roberts; Bridget Galloway Substitutes: Lily Crosthwaite for Brown 58, Dee Bradley for Lambert 58, Aby Holmes for Roberts 58, Becky Salicki for Christon 75 Substitutes not used: Brooke Mackain Goals: Salicki 81 Bookings: Robson 71, Holmes 90+3, Bradley 90+7 Referee: Lisa Benn Attendance: 240


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