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Palace women edge thrilling seven-goal season opener v Bristol City

Crystal Palace FC Women 4

Goals: Haines (Pen) 2’, 53’, Clifford 15’, Barton 45’


Bristol City FC Women 3

Goals: Johnson 42’, Jhamat 57’, Beever-Jones 90’

FA Women's

Championship - Sunday August 29

Crystal Palace made it a winning start to the new Championship season, beating Bristol City 4-3 at Hayes Lane.

It was an opening minute to forget for the visitors, who were in action for the first time since relegation from the Barclays FA Women’s Super League last term.

Lia Cataldo impeded Siobhan Wilson inside the area, leading referee Jade Wardle to point to the spot. Coral-Jade Haines executed from 12 yards with a firmly struck spot-kick to put Palace ahead.

The home side doubled their advantage after 15 minutes when Charley Clifford met a teasing, deep Wilson corner and finished after the ball initially struck the post.

Bristol City had the woodwork to thank for not going further behind soon after as another Wilson corner looked to cause problems, this time directly striking the crossbar.

At the other end Chloe Morgan was drawn into a smart save from Melissa Johnson, who managed to halve the deficit on the 42nd minute.

The Eagles restored their two-goal advantage before half-time, Kirsty Barton wonderfully controlling a lofted Haines pass before poking past goalkeeper Fran Bentley.

Quick-fire goals for both teams lit up the restart, Haines bagging her second of the game from a Leanne Cowan cross before substitute Simran Jhamat capitalised on a loose pass from Morgan to tuck home into the unguarded net.

Bristol City added another through Agnes Beever-Jones in stoppage time, but Crystal Palace claimed all the points in their thrilling curtain-raiser.

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Crystal Palace’s Siobhan Wilson said: “We’ve put a lot of work in over pre-season and to see it come out the way we wanted it to today is a great feeling. It was a tight game. There were a lot more goals conceded than we would have wished for, but at the end of the day we got three points and that’s all that matters.”

“When I got into that position I thought maybe I could’ve had a shot here, but I just dropped my shoulder, knock it past and I got a foul, and thankfully Coral finished it. It was a good start.”

“My first corner wasn’t great! I hit the first one out. But I made sure the next ones were half-decent deliveries. We scored off of one of them, so I’m glad I could contribute something to the win.”

Bristol City’s Abi Harrison said: “It’s frustrating. We didn’t start right. We had the chances though to turn it around, so we can only blame ourselves. It was individual errors and we’re frustrated because that’s obviously not what we came here for. So it’s disappointing.”

“We made it tough for ourselves, but we’ve been in that position before and we’ve got ourselves out of it, so I think it was just decision-making on the day. We didn’t look up to our best. I don’t think any of us looked anywhere near what we’re capable of and what we’ve been doing in pre-season, so it’s a quick reality check and it’s a tough league, not that we thought we were going to come down here and walk it, but as I say it‘s a reality check, so we brush ourselves off and go again and we make sure we get three points against Lewes.”

Crystal Palace: (5-2-3): Chloe Morgan; Siobhan Wilson, Lizzie Waldie, Aimee Everett, Annabel Johnson, Leanne Cowan; Hannah Churchill, Charley Clifford; Coral-Jade Haines, Kirsty Barton, Molly-Mae Sharpe

Substitutes: Millie Farrow for Wilson 63’, Bianca Baptiste for Sharpe 69’, Sophie McLean for Haines 85’

Substitutes not used: Emily Orman, Leigh Nicol, Grace Coombs

Goals: Haines (Pen) 2’, 53’, Clifford 15’, Barton 45’

Bristol City: (4-1-2-1-2): Fran Bentley; Ella Powell, Satara Murray, Brooke Aspin, Lia Cataldo; Naomi Layzell; Aimee Palmer, Ava Kuyken; Abi Harrison; Melissa Johnson, Jessica Woolley

Substitutes: Simran Jhamat for Aspin 45’, Agnes Beever-Jones for Johnson 66’, Izzy Cook for Woolley 82’, Florence Allen for Powell 82’

Substitutes not used: Sophie Whitehouse, Erin Foley, Jasmine Bull, Maisy Collis, Maddi Wilde

Goals: Johnson 42’, Jhamat 57’, Beever-Jones 90’

Bookings: Jhamat 79’

Referee: Jade Wardle


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