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Crystal Palace Development 7 London Academical 1
Crystal Palace Development will end the year leading the Greater London League Division Two South after their ninth victory maintained a 100% record. A sparkling display, especially in the second half, saw off the challenge of London Academical by seven goals to one.
Palace started out with purpose and had already missed chances before Iesha Swaby gave them a sixth minute lead. Accies moved the ball well at times but were always under pressure at the back. Emily Treacy nearly added a second from a corner but brave defending especially by Clara Ross-Benham and good goalkeeping by Teresa Hoenigl-Decrinis kept Accies in the game.
Ellie Lock nearly equalised with a 25-yard effort which rebounded to safety off the bar but soon after, the home side doubled their lead when Hope Mumford tapped in from close range just before the break.
The Palace advantage stretched to three just after the restart when Swaby volleyed home after a corner was helped on. Olivia Anton was inches away from reducing the deficit and then Lock struck the woodwork again as Accies kept the match competitive. However, Palace had a great variety of attacking options and found a clinical streak as the match developed.
Aaliyah Weise-Forbes set up the fourth with a cross for Elle Johnson and then added the fifth herself with a composed finish just after the hour. Accies got a deserved consolation soon after through Efat Hameed and Palace keeper Charlotte Greenwood pulled off a fine save to deny the visitors a second.
Johnson added a sixth for the Eagles with a fine finish from a tight angle in off the post on 68 minutes and Mumford became the third home player to notch a brace with a composed far post finish two minutes later.
Accies, with no substitutes available, battled bravely to the end and kept the Palace forwards at bay for the final twenty minutes but the impressive speed and control of all the Palace players meant that the pressure was relentless.
Despite an earlier one point deduction, Palace Development moved into pole position with this win ahead of Comets with a game in hand and plenty to look forward to in 2019.
Crystal Palace Development:
Charlotte Greenwood, Chenille Smith, Emily Treacy, Lacey Spriggs, Ellie Paris, Olivia Ward, Okasia Brown, Elisabeth Heyndrickx, Elle Johnson, Iesha Swaby, Aaliyah Weise-Forbes. Subs: Hope Mumford, Lily Price, Karesha Iton, Kadelia Wilkins.
Teresa Hoenigl-Decrinis, Clara Ross-Benham, Tara Mathias, Laura Palacio Garcia, Ellie Lock, Olivia Anton, Beatriz Edigo, Amy Potkins, Shannon Chell, Efat Hameed, Karin O'Grady.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Elisabeth Hendrickx battles with Ellie Lock
(middle) Emily Treacy slides in to challenge Olivia Anton
(bottom) Tara Mathias tries to close down Hope Mumford
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