Ladies Report: Lasses remain top with draw

Crystal Palace Women 1-1 Sunderland AFC Ladies

Keira Ramshaw’s goal on her return from injury salvaged a point for Sunderland Ladies against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

The response just six second-half minutes after Millie Farrow’s opener for the home side sees Mel Reay’s side head back to Wearside with a valuable point.

The draw in South London sees the Lasses sit unbeaten with seven points from their opening three matches in the FA Women’s Championship, heading into next week’s international break.

Ramshaw was named amongst the substitutes by Reay after recovering from her knee issue, with Emma Kelly captaining the side and Emily Hutchinson absent due to a knock picked up in training.

The match quickly became an open encounter with both sides creating opportunities in the first half, though Palace would have felt aggrieved not to head in at the break in front after Farrow’s shot struck the post and her earlier chance was blocked well by Grace McCatty on the goal-line.

For the Lasses, Kelly tested goalkeeper Emily Orman from outside the area, and Jessica Brown twice fired just over the crossbar.

As the second half began, both sides looked to take further risks and Charlotte Potts timed an excellent block to deny Farrow once more, before the Palace number nine eventually found the net after firing home from a cross-shot delivered into the six-yard box.

The opener arrived shortly after the introduction of Ramshaw, who entered the fray alongside Holly Manders – who herself rolled a shot inches past the post from Neve Herron’s low cross.

But the crucial leveller arrived with 18 minutes to play, as the home side failed to clear and survived the handball appeals from a close-range shot – Ramshaw then picking up the loose ball and hitting an excellent shot on the turn into the far corner.

For the last stages of the game, chances dried up somewhat at both ends as the defences marshaled the remainder of the contest well, although Siobhan Wilson - a lively presence down the left-hand side for the Londoners - was unlucky with five minutes to go as her header came back off the upright.

A thoroughly determined effort from the Lasses at Selhurst, who following the international weekend will take on Lewes at Eppleton.

SUNDERLAND AFC LADIES: Moan, Beer, McCatty, Potts, Griffiths, Brown (Blakey 83'), Kelly, Herron, Joice, Farrugia (Manders 64'), Scarr (Ramshaw 64').

Subs not used: Cowling, Mullen, McInnes.

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