Crystal Palace manager Dean Davenport was delighted with his side’s 2-1 victory over Blackburn
Rovers at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium yesterday.
An early goal from Bianca Baptiste settled his side into the game before a late effort from Sophie McLean all-but-sealed a victory for his side.
Annabel Blanchard’s strike at the death did make the end of the game nervous for Palace but Davenport’s side grinded out a win and extended their unbeaten run in the league to six games.
Speaking to FAWSL Full-Time after the game, Davenport did criticise his side’s slow start to both halves but overall, he was pleased with the win.
“I thought the first 45 was quite scrappy, we couldn’t get into our stride quick enough, I thought both sides weren’t at it,” Davenport said. “Last 10 minutes of the first half, we came alive.
“I thought in the second half, we started slow but once we got the second goal which we needed it was inevitable that we were going to go on to win the game.”
Despite the first half lacking in action, the South Londoners were very much in control after the early goal. Davenport praised his side for this and encouraged the habit of scoring early.
He said “We’ve got a habit of that at the moment, scoring quite early, which is a good thing for us, but we didn’t play the football we normally play.
“The first goal did settle everyone’s nerves and to be fair, we potentially could have scored a few more.”
In the 75th-minute of the game, an altercation between Megan Hornby and Kirsty Barton sparked pushing and shoving between players. Davenport did have a good view of it and was asked if anything potentially happened that the referee should act on.
“Yeah, there’s a little bit of handbags but I think if someone potentially raises an arm then I think the referee needs to deal with that in an appropriate way,” he said.
Before the game, The Eagles boss sparked debates over which formation his side would play. Davenport refused to comment on what the system was but praised the unpredictability of his side.
The Palace boss said “It’s an approach where we play attacking football, I think everyone knows we’re an attacking side, we’ve got a lot of pace in the side and we change formation regularly in games, so we
don’t just stick with the same system.
“It helps I think that we come to teams and they don’t know the system we’re going to play and I think it’s given us that sense that we’re adaptable to the way we play.”
Palace are next in action in the FA Women’s Continental League Cup against Bristol City at Hayes Lane on 15 December.
By Matthew Ward