It was a draw last time the Lionesses played Crystal Palace back in February and it was to be the same again this time out.
Palace got off to a very quick start with Lizzie Waldie scoring with a header from a set piece three minutes in, but Lionesses Liz Ejupi equalised just before half time from close range. She’s becoming a bit of a nemesis for Palace having previously finding the back of the net against them.
Pivotal Points In The Match
It was Bianca Baptiste's corner that Waldie connected with, scoring a powerful header to open Palace’s account. However, the Lionesses were quick to react, and within the same minute, almost evened up the score as Ejupi unleashed a thunderous strike which somehow stayed out having crashed onto the underside of Chloe Morgan's crossbar.
After the hectic start, the game settled somewhat. The next opportunity came on 21 minutes as Alli Murphy played Ejupi through and despite staying composed to evade a challenge, the finish wasn’t strong enough and Palace’s Morgan was able to defend her goal.
Action at both ends meant both keepers made decent saves; Shae Yanez denying Baptiste at her near post, whilst on her Lionesses debut, Hayely Nolan tested Morgan.
The Lionesses breakthrough came on the 34th minute, a cut back from Juliette Kemppi leaving Ejupi to poke the ball home to bring the equaliser.
In the second half, Atlanta Primus, also making her London City debut, hit the post and headed narrowly wide from separate corners as the Lionesses pressed for the three points.
As the final whistle came it was still 1-1 with the London rivals sharing the spoils.
Head Coach Reaction
Lisa Fallon said, "I'm really happy with our performance. There was a genuine togetherness in the team and we can really see the work we are doing in training starting to show in our performance. It's very disappointing to concede from a set piece but we created so many chances, we've hit the post twice and their goalkeeper has been named their Player of the Match by. That tells a story and we know we need to finish more of our chances, but we played some lovely stuff tonight, created a lot going forward and I know those little margins are going to start to go our way.
I thought Hayley and Atlanta were excellent on their debuts, and I am so happy to see Lily Agg, who was outstanding tonight, back in the team and getting 90 mins after coming back from a serious injury last season. Leanne Cowan also deserves a mention. That's the best I've seen her whilst Liz Ejupi and Juliette Kemppi offered us so much in attacking play.
Whilst disappointed with the result, because I genuinely felt we were the stronger team, there are so many positives for us to take from this performance and build on. We'll keep working hard and I know the results are coming."
London City sponsor SETL chose Lily Agg as their Lionesses player of the match. After the game Lily said, "The performance was a lot better. We battled for each other. I think we fought very well. It went to 90 plus minutes and we were knocking on the door, pulling together as a team. It was a good performance, it's just the result we are a bit gutted about.
It was an awful start; a set-piece and a great delivery. But it was a great response, we hit the bar within about 20 seconds. We were up for the game, we were ready. But they penned us in and got that goal.
It was one of those days. We kept going. They were tired, they were defending for their lives and putting their bodies on the line. We had chances, we hit the post. But we'll look back on that, we could have been more clinical potentially, myself included - I had a few chances too, but that's football!"
Now into the international break, the squad will prepare for their next test away on 27th September against Durham.
Crystal Palace (4-2-3-1): Chloe Morgan; Ffion Morgan, Lizzie Waldie, Leeta Rutherford, Annabel Johnson; Leigh Nicol, Hannah Churchill; Bianca Baptiste, Coral-Jade Haines, Siobhan Wilson; Cherelle Khassal
Substitutes: Amber Gaylor for Baptiste 43, Ashleigh Goddard for Nicol 57, Kate Natkiel for Wilson 80
Substitutes not used: Emma Gibbon, Georgia Clifford
Goals: Waldie 3
Bookings: Johnson 76
London City Lionesses (4-2-3-1): Shae Yanez; Leanne Cowan, Ylenia Priest, Harley Bennett, Grace Neville; Hayley Nolan, Lilly Agg; Atlanta Primus, Alli Murphy, Juliette Kemppi; Liz Ejupi
Substitutes: Kallie Balfour for Primus 79, Poppy Wilson for Neville 88, Annie Rossiter for Kemppi 88
Substitutes not used: Lucy Thomas, Chantelle Mackie, Hannah Short, Freda Ayisi, Lucy Fitzgerald, Flo Fyfe
Goals: Ejupi 34
Referee: Chloe Ann Anderson
Attendance: (Behind closed doors)