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Women's Football News
The 2015-16 season will go down in history for Crystal Palace Ladies.
In addition to the incredible progress of the Junior section, the adult section has worked tirelessly towards a single aim - the success of the first team and they are proud to say, it's mission accomplished.
With only one team promoted to the top tier of the FA Women's Premier League and an already tough list of opponents, the Eagles would duel with Gillingham, who were looking to bounce back from relegation last season.
Palace, led by Dean Davenport and Clinton Lancaster, knew that despite only just missing out last season, the task would not be easy. The Eagles hit the ground running with two early away wins, and went into the third game knowing it could be one of the most defining. At home to Gillingham. In driving rain on a Wednesday evening, Palace tore into the Gills from the first minute. With little mercy, the Eagles ran out 5-0 winners, laying down a marker for the season.
With future results between the two rivals mirroring each other and both teams remaining unbeaten, the reverse fixture in February was a critical game. In a tight match, Palace came away with a point, thanks to a second half equaliser from the spot by leading goalscorer Gemma Bryan. Maintaining the three point gap was a real boost for Palace as they went into the last nine games. Gillingham, meanwhile had a backlog of fixtures and were needing to regularly play twice a week through the run in.
Palace were adamant that they would not drop their guard and continued their winning form. The pressure was now telling on the Kent side who dropped a series of points over the next few weeks.
On 17th April, following a 4-1 win at Milton Keynes Dons, news filtered through that Cambridge had won at Gillingham. Palace were Champions and promoted, with three games left.
However, the job was not done and four days later, Palace were facing AFC Wimbledon in the Surrey FA Cup Final. With a 2-1 win, the Double was achieved.
Gemma Bryan has topped the goalscoring charts this season with an impressive 30 goals to her name and the likes of Roschelle Shakes, Nicha Pyelt, Abigail Igbavboa and Leanne Bell have also been regulars on the scoresheet during the course of the season.
The last objective of the season for Palace is yet to be achieved - to remain unbeaten in the league for the season. Following their win at Lowestoft Town on Sunday, they have one more match left to secure that record, against Norwich City.
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