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Palace and Brighton in eight goal thriller
 Women's Football News 13 Apr 2009
Palace and Brighton in eight goal thriller - 13 Apr 2009 - Women's Football NewsTwo teams at the wrong end of the Southern Division served up an Easter day treat for neutral spectators at Whyteleafe on Sunday as Crystal Palace and Brighton & Hove Albion shared eight goals.
Neither club will be totally happy with a point gained from a thrilling 4-4 draw but both sets of players deserve great praise for their total commitment and heart. Both teams were twice in the lead and it was the visitors who levelled up the score on 90 minutes.
Brighton had opened the scoring in the second minute with a neat header by Carly Esposito from a corner. Palace had levelled through centre back Sharna Longville on eleven and the same player had put her team ahead seven minutes into the second half with a superb outside of the foot volley from a corner.
Sofia Bouyi finished well from 15 yards for the Brighton equaliser just before the hour mark and a 30-yard lob from Natasha Wells put the Seagulls ahead with fifteen minutes minutes remaining.
Palace then seemed to have won the match as first Stacie Tull, with a powerful driven shot, and substitute Beth Curtis scored from a 35 yard free kick past Charlotte Sole in the visitors goal. However it was Wells, with her second goal in injury time, who rescued a vital point when she outpaced the defence and slid the ball past Sam Sharp.
Palace had probably had the better chances during an end to end encounter with Kenne Ogunneye hitting the post and Jade McDermott always prominent up front but Brighton defended resolutely with Tammy Waine outstanding and Kim Whitcombe and Kim Stenning offering a threat on the break.
With three games left, Brighton need two points to overhaul Ipswich Town and a win at home to Truro City next week would secure safety. It may well be Palace that have the tougher task with two matches against Champions elect Millwall Lionesses and crucial home and away matches with Truro to come. However Palace stll have seven matches left to earn the points they need to secure their safety.
Crystal Palace: Sam Sharp. Sian Cheedy, Stacie Tull, Sharna Longville, Carly Dunmall, Sarah Walters, Laura East, Becky Merritt (sub Beth Curtis 61mins), Kenne Ogunneye, Ellie Bracey, Jade McDermott. Subs not used: Rachael Anson, Claire Williams, Saskia Philp, Kirsty Mitchell.

Brighton: Charlotte Sole, Megan Priest, Charley Boswell, Natasha Wells, Carly Esposito, Kerry Dawkins (sub Kelly McCulloch 80mins), Yasmin Poole, Sofia Bouyi (sub Katie Bauer 89mins), Tammy Waine, Kim Stenning (sub Haley Tubb 89mins), Kim Whitcombe.

(Report by Patrick Higgins)

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