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Enfield Town 0 Crystal Palace 2
Crystal Palace are one of four teams on six points after the opening two rounds of FAWPL Division One South East action after taking a 2-0 victory away at Enfield Town.
The South Londoners started brightly, dominating possession and threatening the home defence The outcome of the match was influenced by the first half sending off of Cara Newton which gave Palace the numerical advantage after a penalty area challenge was sanctioned. The resultant spot kick was brilliantly saved by Enfield keeper Chloe Crook to keep the score blank at the break.
Palace, so close to promotion last season, used their advantage very effectively after the break to stretch the Enfield back line. However, superbly marshalled by skipper Claire Gooch, the hosts defied the often free scoring visitors for long periods and the match was at the three quarter mark before Nicha Dyett gave Palace the lead, advancing on a loose ball to drive a low shot beyond the diving Crook and into the bottom corner.
The same player missed a golden chance to double the lead a few minutes later when a left wing corner found her clear on the far post, but Dyett's shot was lifted high and wide from close range. Enfield kept an attacking formation to attempt to salvage something from the match but were rarely able to trouble visiting keeper Sam Saint.
The destination of the points was settled with ten minutes to go when a break found Palace clear on the right and although Crook made another fine save from a low shot, the rebound was turned home by sub Georgie O'Halloran from close range.
Enfield are one of five teams yet to register a point but played with plenty of spirit against the odds whilst Palace have yet to concede from two away matches and look like strong challengers again this season.
Enfield Town: Chloe Crook, Beth Demery, Claire Gooch, Emma Kayser, Nuala McDevitt, Sheryce Slater, Ayse Mustafa, Cara Newton, Kate Wilding, Cally Browne, Esther Yong. Subs: Jordan Ferdinand, Hayley Wood-Thompson, Robin Brown.
Crystal Palace: Sam Saint, Pamela McRoberts, Alexandra Elson, Sarah Jones, Freya Holdaway, Katy Morris, Abigail Igbavboa, Leanne Bell, Nicha Dyett, Mary Robinson, Alma Donohoe. Subs: Stephanie Mann, Georgie O'Halloran, Leesa Haydock.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Nicha Dyett is tackled by Claire Gooch
(middle) Leanne Bell shadows Hayley Wood-Thompson
(bottom) Nicha Dyett fires goalwards with Hayley Wood-Thompson in the line of fire
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