Lewes relegated from Women’s Championship as Crystal Palace win at Dripping Pan

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Lewes were relegated from the Barclays Women’s Championship with a 2-0 defeat at home to table toppers Crystal Palace.

In their final home game of the season, the Rooks went behind to a stunning strike from Shanade Hopcroft at the Dripping Pan. Molly-Mae Sharpe then doubled the visitors’ lead as Palace all-but clinched the Championship title and confirmed Lewes place in tier three next season.

Palace started the stronger of the two sides with Annabel Blanchard sending in a free-kick from 25 yards out that Sophie Whitehouse did well to deal with.

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Whitehouse was further tested by Elise Hughes and Sharpe before Aimee Claypole tried an audacious lob but sent the attempt well over for the hosts.

The Dripping Pan dressing room | Picture: Lewes FCThe Dripping Pan dressing room | Picture: Lewes FC
The Dripping Pan dressing room | Picture: Lewes FC

The Eagles then took the lead as Hopcroft fired a thunderbolt into the net from outside the box with 25 minutes gone. The Rooks keeper was then called into action to stop Palace doubling their lead just before half-time as she tipped an effort from Sharpe over the bar.

The Palace forward continued where she left off after the break with a strike in the 50th minute. Sharpe had been found well by a through ball before sliding the ball into the bottom corner to double her side’s advantage.

Lewes looked for a way back into the game as Grace Riglar tested Demi Lambourne in the Palace goal who put in a good save.

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In the final game of Maggie Murphy’s tenure as CEO, the club enjoyed a league record crowd of 2,614 but saw the game end in defeat bringing an end to the club’s six-year stay in the Barclays Women’s Championship.

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