The winning start to the season came to and end as the Palace Ladies were held to a goalless draw at home to Coventry United in a tough fought encounter.
Even though the Eagles had the better of the chances to grab victory, they were unable to find a way past the resolute United defending though the unbeaten run remains intact with it now being five games without defeat.
Two changes were made to the starting lineup with Freya Holdaway and Pam McRoberts returning as Ciara Sherwood and Jade Davenport missed the game due to international duty and a faulty car. Striker Gemma Bryan made her fiftieth appearance for the club.
Coventry set the early pace for the game with plenty of hard physical challenges, Bryan on the receiving end multiple times throughout the half and at one point looked a doubt to continue.
Nikita Whinnett had the best chance of the half. Bryan with a perfect knock over the United defence, Whinnett ran onto and chipped over the United keeper but frustratingly saw her effort cleared off the line. Stef Simmonds showed once again how good her left foot is with multiple long balls deep into the United area to perfection as Ria Collins and Rosie Paye both having headed chances denied.
At the other end Megen lynch, Collins, Paye, Hannah Samuels and Holdaway held a strong line and did not give United any real clear cut chances.
The second half saw the Eagles continue to push for the opening goal, but United’s resolute defending continued. The visitors did have a couple of chances to take the lead themselves but Lynch saved well on each occassion.
Frustration and tiredness kicked in towards the end of the game with Palace giving everything they could. The midfield of McRoberts, Simmonds and Leesa Haydock with typically pin point passing to give Palace as many attacking chances as possible. Megan Goss was brought on with time running out to make her first appearance of the season and despite the continued high line and attack, United held firm to deny the Eagles another win.
As frustrating as it may be, for Palace to have not come away with the victory, it does mean they remain undefeated in five games and sit second in the table behind Charlton Athletic who were victorious against Queens Park Rangers.
With the season well under way, there is no time for the Eagles to sit and rest as they travel to Sussex side Lewes on Wednesday night for the first evening game of the season.
Match report courtesy of Michael Hulf.