Charlton Women 1 Crystal Palace 1
Charlton Athletic Women took their unbeaten run to six matches after sharing the spoils with local rivals Crystal Palace with their third successive FA Women’s Championship 1-1 draw at Hayes Lane on Sunday.
A Charley Clifford strike on the turn put the Addicks on top just before the break, but an unmarked Cherelle Khassal header shortly after the hour mark snatched a point for the hosts.
Manager Riteesh Mishra was forced into making a single change from the side that drew with London Bees the previous weekend, with suspended club captain Grace Coombs replaced by Ellie Dorey.
While Palace had the first chance of the contest, when Bianca Baptiste fired the ball onto the outside of the woodwork, it was Charlton who were dominant in the first half. Both Siobhan Wilson and Alice Griffiths had early chances flash wide from long range.
The first chance that landed on target went to Charlie Estcourt, who curled goalwards from the right-hand side of the penalty area but could only see her effort parried wide by keeper Lucy Gillett.
Charlie Devlin then saw an effort fly wide after a quick Clifford free-kick, with Baptiste again having a rare chance for Palace but could only balloon well over.
Devlin continued to be a thorn in the hosts’ defence, the striker was kept at bay by some last-ditch defending before a well-weighted through ball almost found Clifford who was denied by some more last-ditch defensive play.
Palace had a pair of good efforts either side of the half-hour mark, first seeing Ella Rutherford drag a shot wide before Katie Startup was equal to a Baptiste shot. Shortly after, a clearance from new signing Chloe Mustaki ricocheted back off Wilson in the Charlton penalty area but Startup was alert to the danger and prevented what could have been an unfortunate own goal.
And the Eagles were made to rue those misses just two minutes later when Clifford controlled the ball with her back to goal six yards out, turned her marker and fired into the far corner to break the deadlock.
Stand-in skipper Clifford could have had a second just a couple of ticks before the interval, but Gillett was equal to her shot.
After a thrilling first few minutes, the second period was much quieter, with former Millwall Lionesses Devlin and Rutherford both going close in the early stages.
But it was the home side who struck the next blow on 62 minutes s Baptiste fed the ball wide left for captain Annabel Johnson who crossed for Khassal to head home from close range under no defensive pressure.
The final half an hour yielded few chances, with Clifford and Waldie going closest before Rachel Newborough became Charlton’s heroine with a clearance off the line just 60 seconds from time.
Charlton’s fifth draw of the season puts them level on points with Coventry United, who travel to The Oakwood next weekend in a crucial clash.
Charlton: Startup, Newborough, Dorey, Clifford, Devlin, Casley, Estcourt (Legg 71), Griffiths, Wilson (Heuchan 82), Maple (Griffin 71), Mustaki. Subs (not used): Salgado, Gotch, Eggesvik.
Goal: Clifford (43)
Crystal Palace: Gillett, Goddard, MacKenzie, Johnson, Hurley, Waldie, Georgiou, L. Rutherford, Baptiste, E. Rutherford (Mosengo 75), Khassal. Subs (not used): Laudat, Pepper, Watling, Goad, Gibbon.
Goal: Khassal (62)