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London Bees v Brighton and Hove Albion Women - FA Women’s Continental League Cup

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Match Preview: Selhurst Park hosts Sunderland Ladies versus Crystal Palace this afternoon

Sunderland Ladies play in Premier League surroundings in South London today, and our southern fanbase is welcome to join the locals for what promises to be a great game in the FA Women’s Championship!

Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

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Sunday 12th September 2021

Crystal Palance Women vs Sunderland AFC Ladies

FA Women’s Championship

Selhurst Park, Croydon, SE25 6PU

Kick-Off: 14:00

Tickets & Match Coverage

Tickets: £8 for Adults, £5 for Over 65s and Under 16s are FREE. It is recommended that you book your tickets in advance from the Palace website here.

Programme: The Crystal Palace programme for this match is available to view online here.

Stream: Full match replay and highlights will be available on the FA Player here from Monday

Twitter: Get in-game updates on the match from @SAFCLadies

Podcast: Roker Report’s Lasses Podcast Live will be broadcast live on Twitter Spaces from 8-9pm BST on Monday. Just go to @RokerReport to listen in.

The build-up...

Keira Ramshaw is expected to have made a full enough recovery from a bad reaction to the stitches she received following a clash with the Coventry United goalkeeper on the opening day to play a part.

Last week’s opening goalscorer, Neve Herron, speaking to Ant Waterson on Roker Report’s Lasses Podcast Live last Monday evening, told of her delight with the first two games and two much she was looking forward to the next challenge:

We’re just taking each game as it comes. It’s gonna be a long season, we haven’t got the biggest squad in the league, so travelling next week we’re just going to go over the same ideas that we’ve gone into every game with, and just come away with something, and show them what we can do to be honest, because we’re sort of the underdogs in every game, so it’s better to be that that way because then we get to show them how we win.

Photo by Chris Fryatt

SAFC’s Sporting Director, Kristjaan Speakman, in his interview with the club’s Unfiltered podcast this week, gave a glowing assessment of the Lasses’ fantastic start to the campaign in tier two, as well as an update on some of the back-room developments going on at the club to support the women’s set-up:

I’m really really pleased for Mel and the team. Naturally, as that group and the infrastructure around it has grown – it has grown really really quickly and it’s still not in place. Alex Clark has joined us as General Manager for the women’s team. Alex only started work on Monday. To recruit the right people is a process that takes time, they’ve got to serve notice periods and they’ve got to come in. So there’s always a bit of a lead time before things get up and running.

But I think we’ve made some smart decisions to get the squad sorted early. Obviously retaining Mel was a really important call in terms of making sure we could do that with all the rest of her commitments, because she’s done really, really well. I think its been demonstrated in terms of where the group is at at the minute, they’re really well placed.

They’ve got a really robust training programme but they’re not full time athletes. It’s incredible commitment to be able to juggle all the things they have to juggle, and everyone’s got an individual circumstance. To juggle all those things, and train, and then be ready to play in what is a tough league – we’re really hopeful that’s going to be the start of a special, special team for us.

Keira Ramshaw should be back in time for today game
Photo by Chris Fryatt

On the Crystal Palace side, today’s visit of Sunderland is a pretty special occasion. Long-term manager and lifelong Crystal Palace man, Dean Davenport was interviewed in The Independent this week about his side’s first match at Selhurst Park since 2016:

I am buzzing for it and can’t wait. I told the players before one of our recent training sessions and when it started they were buzzing around because they know what an opportunity it is to play at Selhurst Park.

For me it is more about them playing there. As a Palace supporter, I love to be in the dugout and did it once before, can’t wait to do it again but it is not about myself and being a fan.

It is about letting the new girls and the players who haven’t experienced it go and play there. It will be a good game, a tough game against Sunderland but to play at our home stadium will be magic.

The Eagles have brought in nine players over the summer, including loanees from Chelsea - Emily Orman - and Tottenham - Gracie Pearse. They get good crowds, over 800 often come to their regular base at Bromley FC. They’ll be a tough test in front of a passionate home crowd as this extremely competitive FA Women’s Championship season continues.


League form...

Sunderland AFC Ladies - W-W

Sunderland won away from home 1-0 in the opening fixture at Coventry United LFC, and followed that up with a superb first half performance against Blackburn Rovers at the Stadium of Light. It leaves the Lasses top of the table after two games.

Crystal Palace - W-L

It was a winning start for Palace in a thrilling 3-2 game at home to Bristol City, the Eagles went and lost to their London rivals the City Lionesses last Sunday, and so will be looking to pick up their form once again today.

Special Event...

Sunderland AFC fans in London are invited by Palace fan @Andy_Lucey to join him and other Crystal Palace Ladies supporters for a six-mile Sunday morning walk, which starts at 10.30am from Bromley FC’s Hayes Lane Ground (BR2 9EF), where Palace Women normally play their games, to the venue for this match - Selhurst Park Stadium.

You should arrive in good time for the match at 2pm and make some football friends along the way!

Local Pubs...

Andy Lucey has also given us a list of some of the best boozers around the Norwood Junction area where Sunderland Ladies fans can grab a pre-match pint.

  • Pawson Arms [Ed’s Note: as regularly featured on The Price of Football podcast]
  • The George
  • Selhurst Railway club
  • Cherry Trees
  • The Albion
  • The Goathouse
  • Victory Club
  • Holmesdale
  • Clifton Arms

Ones to Watch for Palace...

Bianca Baptiste

Attacking midfielder Baptiste spent a decade at Tottenham Hotspur before making her way across the River Thames to South London, where she has really made a name for herself.

She is also Crystal Palace’s Women’s Sports Nutritionist and was Palace’s top scorer last season with eight goals in the Championship. Definitely a fan favourite, Bianca was named Women’s Player of the Year by the Palace fanzine Eagle Eye View this summer.

Emily Orman

The young goalkeeper on loan from Chelsea women will be a key player against the lasses. Orman signed her first professional contract with Chelsea in the summer and shortly after moved on loan to the Eagles. The stopper was very busy last week in the game away to London City Lionesses and was hugely impressive, demonstrating incredible agility.

It’s great practice to expose young goalkeepers to as much first-team football as possible and the Blues will be confident she can make her mark in the Women’s Championship in the coming season. At 18 years of age, the keeper will be looking to keep a clean sheet against a Sunderland side with plenty of attacking threat. She will need to give a strong performance if Palace are to add to the three points from two games they have to date.


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