22nd Oct, 2021

FOOTBALL - Coventry United Ladies lose out in five-goal thriller

COVENTRY United Ladies remain winless in this season’s FA Women’s Championship after they were beaten 3-2 by Crystal Palace in a thrilling game at Butts Park Arena.

 

Olivia Fergusson had put United in front after 13 minutes before Kirsty Barton levelled in first-half injury time.

 

Gracie Pearse then put the Eagles ahead on 53 minutes only for Coventry to restore parity three minutes later through Rio Hardy’s effort.

 

However, Siobhan Marie Wilson won the game for Palace in the 64th minute which leaves United without a win in their opening six matches.

 

That leaves the Red and Greens one place above bottom side Watford – who they meet in the FA WSL Cup group stage on Wednesday night.

 

Coventry opened the scoring on 13 minutes when Hardy battled hard to win back possession with the ball breaking to Fergusson who finished low past Emily Orman to put United ahead.

 

Palace could not have come much closer to an equaliser when Sophie McLean smashed an effort against the crossbar from the edge of the penalty area.

 

The visitors eventually found their equalising goal when Barton was played through and finished well into the bottom corner from eight-yards out.

 

The Eagles almost turned the game on its head at the beginning of the second period when Barton was slipped through only for United keeper Olivia Clarke to deny her with her legs.

 

Palace made their pressure count when Pearse slammed the ball on 53 minutes after Coventry failed to clear their lines from right-wing corner.

 

The away side’s lead did not last long however, as Fergusson’s perfect cross from the left was headed in by Hardy on 56 minutes to square the game up again.

 

The goals kept coming at Butts Park Arena when Wilson blasted the ball in off the left-hand post on 64 minutes after a poor Coventry clearance following an excellent save by Clarke to keep out Millie Farrow’s effort.

 

Destiney Toussaint then went on a marauding run into the box before seeing her effort tipped behind for a corner as the Red and Greens searched for a leveller.

 

From the resulting set-piece a dangerous cross from the right led to a goalmouth scramble before Palace eventually cleared the ball to safety.

 

Coventry piled on the pressure at the death with Hardy’s effort on the spin well held by Orman before Katie Wilkinson’s header looped onto the post and Katy Morris’s rebound attempt was kept out by Orman at close range.

 

United are next in action against Watford on Wednesday, October 13 at Butts Park Arena with kick-off at 7:45pm in the FA WSL Cup group stage encounter.

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