There was no winter rust to be shaken off as the Eagles did battle with the Lionesses, the visitors pressing to the front from the get-go, giving the hosts something to think about as the modest crowd continued to take their seats. Getting forward less frequently than their opposition but just doing more with the ball when in the attacking third, Palace saw their first chance in the third minute and their first goal in the sixth. Chloe Burr’s close-range effort enough to wrong-foot Chloe Sansom and curl into the near side of the net.
The goal gave the hosts a yard of confidence and they started to flock forward with more abandon, the chances continued to flow.
Forced to take potshots, unable to fully get beyond the last line of defence, Millwall looked their most dangerous from 20+ yards, Gabby Ravenscroft drawing a fine save from Shanelle Salgado half an hour in.
Not looking as comfortable as they’d have liked at the break, the hosts doubled their advantage early in the second half when Hannah Mackenzie tapped in at a set piece. The two-goal cushion lasted just second for the Eagles before Millwall pulled one back, the lively Ravenscroft showing good control to chip Burr. Again, things were only temporary in Bromley, the Eagles reopening the gap minutes later when Gemma Bryan announced her return with a header plucked straight from Sansom’s gloves.
Although both sides continued to create chances late into the game, neither could find another killer ball to impact the scores, three more than enough for Palace to claim their second win of the season.
From the box to the table
The two best on the pitch were usually slugging out against each other with Ravenscroft inspired for Millwall, pulling a string of strong saves from Salgado. The Palace shot-stopping doing particularly well to persevere after picking up a knock and receiving two spells of treatment on the pitch.
For the two teams propping up the bottom of the table, there was always the promise for three points on offer in Bromley, each marking the best chance to take maximum points for both. With both sides given freedom to attack, it was a solid 90 minutes for both which only served to highlight the progress made in both camps over the first half of the season. The three points for Palace puts them in touching distance of Lewes and provides a slight respite. Yet for Millwall, who are looking for improvements each week, the loss will come as a sting, the match well possible of having swung the other way, and with half a season left, a last place finish already seems to be beckoning.