Lewes 1 – 2 Crystal Palace
A much changed Lewes side started their Continental Tyres League Cup campaign with defeat on Wednesday night after a 2-1 loss at home to Crystal Palace.
Simon Parker made 10 changes to the starting line-up that beat London City Lionesses 1-0 on Sunday, as he rotates his squad and keeps players fresh, with captain Rhian Cleverly the only player to remain in the much changed side.
The Rooks got the game underway, but it was the visitors who had the first chance of the night when a free-kick was dealt with by LauraHartley.
On 10 minutes the Eagles had a corner that Lewes initially failed to clear, but eventually Ellie Hack and Rhian Cleverly were able to get it away from Hartley’s goal.
Hartley was called into action nine minutes later asPalace’s Amber Gaylor was through on goal, but the Lewes goalkeeper got down low to her near post to push it out for a corner which was eventually cleared away.
Emma Jones looked to be in on goal after 27 minutes whenEllie Noble played a clever ball over the Palace backline, but the wet surface allowed the ball to skid through to the goalkeeper.
Five minutes before the end of the half, Crystal Palace looked to be in again. A ball over the top beat the Lewes defence, but Hartley was quick off her line to close the attacker and make the save.
Lewes started the second half brightly. Simran Jhamat played a good ball to Sarah Kempson who was then able to find Jones. The number seven couldn’t get her shot away and Palace were able to clear, but Jones managed to pick it up again, this time firing wide.
On 54 minutes Jones was in on goal, but the Crystal Palace goalkeeper was out early off her line and made the save. Moments later, Noble collected the ball and tried an effort from range that went just wide.
Hannah Griffin showed great pace five minutes later when she picked up the ball on the right wing and drove into the Palace half. She attempted to find Kempson, but the ball skidded off the wet surface for a goal kick.
On 59 minutes the Lewes pressure paid off. A clever flick from Griffin found Jones on the edge of the area who turned towards goal and bendeda left footed effort into the bottom corner giving the Rooks the lead.
Another chance fell for Jones on 68 minutes when her free-kick went through the goalkeeper’s hands and nearly crept in at the far post.
However, the Crystal Palace equaliser came on 76 minutes. A corner was drilled into the box and Lewes failed to clear allowing Bianca Baptiste to get a shot away and bring the visitors level.
Hartley was needed again when a difficult free-kick came in, but she managed to make the save.
Katie Rood came on from the bench and had an effort tipped around the post for a corner on 82 minutes. While a minute later Nicola Cousins attempted to find Megan Mackey with a chipped through ball, but there was too much pace on it.
On 90 minutes Crystal Palace found their winner. It came from another corner that was played into a dangerous area and it was Baptiste there again to poke it into the net.
The referee blew her whistle minutes later, meaning Lewes sit third after one game in Group F of the Continental Tyres League Cup.
Lewes Starting XI: Hartley, Boswell (Quayle 61), Cleverly(C), Hack, Newman (O’Rourke 61), Mackey, Noble, Griffin, Jhamat (Donovan 82), Kempson (Rood 61), Jones (Cousins 74)
Subs Not Used: Saunders, Lane, Leek, Savva
Goal: Jones 59
Yellow Card: Mackey 80
Crystal Palace Starting XI: Gibbon, Waldie, Rutherford, Goddard, Morgan, Georgiou, Hurley, Haines (Wilson 63), Clifford, Taylor (Khassal 63), Gaylor (Baptiste 63)
Subs Not Used: Morgan, Nicol, Johnson
Goals: Baptiste 76, 90
Yellow Card: Gaylor 47