BY SAMUEL DRAPER
Substitute Keira Ramshaw saved the day for Sunderland as her equaliser secured a 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park to maintain their unbeaten start to the season.
Millie Farrow’s close-range shot had given the Eagles the lead in the 66th minute but Ramshaw struck back just six minutes later for the FA Women’s Championship pacesetters.
Palace hit the post twice during the match but could not find a winner.
The hosts had scored early in their first two games of the campaign and started brightly again as Siobhan Wilson’s seventh-minute cross forced Claudia Moan into a good save.
Palace went close again when they hit the post just before the half hour after Farrow turned Wilson’s clever pass towards the target.
Seven minutes later, Kirsty Barton fired over for the Eagles from close range.
Four minutes before the break, Sunderland had their best first half chance when Jessica Brown’s looping shot went just over the bar.
In the 52nd minute, Bianca Baptiste fired over after sprinting from halfway as the Eagles looked to counter attack.
And the home side’s pressure eventually paid off midway through the second half, with Farrow making space for herself before guiding the ball home past Moan.
Sunderland’s response was instant, though. First substitute Holly Manders diverted a low cross from Neve Herron wide before the equaliser arrived on 72 minutes.
Ramshaw turned to shoot from the edge of the box after the Eagles failed to clear their lines.
With only three minutes to play, Palace hit the post again. Coral-Jade Haines had an excellent header opportunity but was only able to direct her effort against the woodwork.
Baptiste said: “It’s a little bit frustrating. It’s never ideal to not win, but we’ve come away with a draw so I guess we should be proud of that.
“Our passing was better and we were more sharp. You can see that when we click together, we look dangerous and we can definitely hurt teams.
“It’s a beautiful pitch [at Selhurst Park] and lovely to play on. We really appreciated the fact that we got to play on it. It’s a tough place to play, because we don’t normally play on grass, but we gave it our all. It’s great that we’ve had that opportunity.
“Last season, I think we shocked Liverpool. This season, with the players that have come in, I think we’re going to do really well, and give Liverpool a bit of a shock.
“We will look at our mistakes, and look at Liverpool to see how we can improve, and make sure we go out there and win the game.”
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