Crystal Palace 1 vs Lewes 4: Royal tumble

Back in September, we were wondering where the Lewes goals where going to come from. The answer: a cup tie at Crystal Palace.

Scott Booth’s side have been quietly improving through the autumn, turning the draws that dominated the early part of the season into wins. This one was emphatic, with all four goals notched before half-time.

It was Emma Thompson that got us going.

No, not that one. The Chelsea loanee has struggled to find the net since arriving in the summer, but she got a brace here, playing off the equally impressive Emily Kraft.

Thompson’s first came after only seven minutes. Left wing-back Charlyann Pizzarello put in a magnificent cross and Thompson was there to sweep it in.

We didn’t have to wait long for her second. A short Lewes corner eventually broke to Thompson on the edge of the box and she hammered it in low.

We barely had time to celebrate that before Palace were down our end, smacking a low shot against the post. “Hold my Lucozade,” said Paula Howells, who immediately broke away down the right and put in a superb cross which was looped into her own net by Palace’s Kristen Reilly.

This was the biggest crisis at the Palace since Fergie was snapped sucking that fella’s toes and it wasn’t over. Emily Kraft made it four on the cusp of half-time. She collected the ball on the edge of the box, shaped to shoot on her right, before dragging it on to her left foot and finishing superbly.

4-0 up away from home at half-time – how could it get any better? This is how.

It’s been a good three hours since I put that in my face and I still couldn’t look another chip in the eye. On the downside, my smart watch tells me that to burn off that many calories I’ve got to walk to Aberdeen by midnight.

The second half? It was a bit of a non-event. Lewes had the game in their pocket and saw out all but the final five minutes or so comfortably. Ellie Hack had a couple of vital headers at the back, Captain Cleverly kept everything organised and Becks McKenna was pure industry, including one brilliant late-game run that ended with her surrounded by three defenders, who could only deal with her by wiping her out from behind.

Palace did get a late consolation from Sharpe, but it did nothing to spoil a fine afternoon. Roll on next week when **checks notes** Palace visit the Pan.

Lewes: Moore, Mason, Cleverly, Hack, McKenna, Pizzarello, Hazard, Stobbs, Howells, Thompson, Kraft

Subs: Whitehouse, Palmer, Rita, Heria, Copus-Brown, Angel

Supporters Club player of the match: So many to choose from, but we’re going to give it to Emily Kraft, who held the ball up brilliantly and got a goal of her own.