Lionesses thrash Palace 5-0 to regain top spot in Championship
By Football Reporter
In-form London City Lionesses thrashed Crystal Palace 5-0 at Hayes Lane to take them back to the top of the FA Barclays Women’s Championship.
A devastating first half from the visitors ensured the contest was over by the break, Sarah Ewens, Jamie-Lee Napier and Karin Muya all on target.
Napier set up Muya for a fine fourth before a composed finish from Lucy Shepherd at the death.
The Lionesses now lead the Barclays Women’s Championship by a single point from Bristol City while Palace sit seventh, still looking for their first win of 2023.
Muya, Napier and Shanade Hopcroft were a constant threat, the former drawing a fine save from Natalia Negri at her near post and Hopcroft striking the woodwork twice in the opening 20 minutes.
The barrage of pressure eventually told as Ewens turned in Hopcroft’s cross, expertly controlling a half-volley finish while falling to the ground.
Elise Hughes headed one over the bar for Palace in a rare foray forward for Dean Davenport’s side, but they were soon two behind.
Lois Heuchan’s superb slide pass set Napier away, the diminutive winger beating Negri at the second attempt.
And just before the break, a well-constructed move found Heuchan in space down the Lionesses’ left-hand side, her wicked cross met with a thumping header from Muya.
She doubled her tally for night by getting on the end of a Napier pass, who’d carried the ball up to Palace’s box nigh on 40 metres.
And in added time Shepherd brilliantly tucked away across Negri from a difficult angle to complete the rout.
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