Crystal Palace Ladies could not make a winning appearance at Selhurst Park as Charley Clifford’s 89th-minute goal saw them lost 2-1 to Charlton Women in the FA Cup.
There were more than 550 fans at Sunday’s derby clash.
Palace took a first-half lead through a deft Pam McRoberts header, after Gemma Bryan, returning from injury, had twice shot wide when well placed.
The hosts came to regret those missed opportunities as they were pegged back in the second half. Charlton finally breached their defence 11 minutes from time when Rosey Sullivan netted from close range.
The Premier League sides had played out two exciting draws this season and were unlucky to be pitched together in the first round of the competition.
The enforced withdrawal of striker Bryan was a blow for Palace, who doggedly battled to keep Charlton at bay. With the match heading into extra-time, goalkeeper Chanel Yardley was called into action on a number of occasions.
But after making an initial save she couldn’t keep out the follow-up header from Charley Clifford and there was no time for Palace to salvage an equaliser.
Palace head coach Dean Davenport said: “Naturally we are all disappointed with the result, knowing that it was not beyond our ability to have won this tie. Credit should go to Charlton for managing to stay in the game during a first half that we dominated. “We know from previous encounters that one goal was not likely to be a good enough lead to see out a game against them.
“Charlton showed their experience in taking their chances and that’s something we’re still learning, as a young team. In some respects, it is positive to see the girls’ disappointment because it shows what the expectations are within the squad and how far they have come in such a short space of time.”
Charlton boss Paul McDonagh said: “It was great to get the win at such a big stadium like this and to get through to the next round – it means a bit of money as well, which is good for the club.”
Palace are back in action on Sunday December 11 as they take on Tottenham in the FAWPL Cup quarter-final at Cheshunt FC.
Charlton are at home to West Bromwich Albion in the same competition.
Photos by Michael Hulf.