Report: SAFC Women 1-1 Crystal Palace Women

Sunderland Women made it four games unbeaten as they drew with Crystal Palace Women at Eppleton.


Elise Hughes broke the deadlock in the eighth minute for the away side, but Brianna Westrup’s stoppage-time header rescued a deserved point for the Lasses.


The team was unchanged from last weekend’s win over Southampton, with Mollie Rouse making the bench after recently signing for the Club, with Academy stars Emily Cassap and Mary Corbyn also making the squad.


Mel Reay’s side started brightly, with Katie Kitching whipping a dangerous free-kick in, causing problems for the Palace goalkeeper – after numerous attempts, no Sunderland player could get a clear shot on goal.


The Eagles took the lead when Annabel Blanchard crossed to Hughes in the box, and her header was guided past Claudia Moan.


Kitching threatened late into the half with Sunderland breaking through – the midfielder drove down the right and fizzed a low cross in which was parried by Natalia Negri and the ball was eventually cleared.


After a large spell of possession for Palace at the start of the second half, Sunderland had two headed opportunities gone begging, with Jenna Dear and Liz Ejupi both having efforts on goal go over the bar.


Moan was called into action in the 65th minute, with Blanchard through on goal, but the Lasses stopper made herself big and thwarted the shot.


With nine minutes added on, the Black Cats found an equaliser, with Natasha Fenton’s free-kick floated into a brilliant area, with Westrup meeting it first to guide it past the ‘keeper and level the scoring.


Sunderland continued to threaten and pushed for the winner in the last few minutes, with the main opportunity falling to Emily Scarr, but her effort went just past the post.


With eight points from four games, the Lasses now have time to recover during the international break before facing Watford back at home on October 1.  


SAFC Women: Moan, Brown, Goddard, Westrup ©, Griffiths, Fenton, Kitching, Dear, McAteer (Scarr 83’), Ede (Jones 70’), Ejupi (Watson 70’).


Substitutes: Borthwick, McCatty, McInnes, Rouse, Cassap, Corbyn.

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