The Bees fell to late defeat as Ella Rutherford’s 94th-minute winner snatched all three points in a topsy turvy match at The Hive London.
Rutherford netted the opening goal of the game 10 minutes before half time, before Bianca Baptiste doubled the advantage just after the break.
However, the Bees fought back as what looked to be an own goal and a Merrick Will strike brought Lee Burch’s side, only for Palace to create a rare late attack to snatch what would have been a well-earned point.
The opening 25 minutes was a cagey affair as both sides looked to seize an early advantage, the Eagles came the closest as Leeta Rutherford stung the palms of Quantrill in the Bees goal. Up the other end, Lauren Pickett looped a strike onto the roof of the net after it looked like she had beaten Palace ‘keeper Lucy Gillett.
The visitors took the lead on 36 minutes as Rutheford let fly from distance and it went straight into the back on the net leaving Quantrill with no chance. It could have been two before the break but Georgia Robert put in a goal-saving tackle to keep the score at 1-0.
After the break, it was two for the visitors as Baptiste cut inside to fire into the bottom corner and extend the Eagles advantage on a chilly afternoon in North London.
But five minutes later the deficit was halved as a defensive error saw a backpass trickle over the line, Whinnett looked like she got a faint touch but on second viewing it was an own goal that brought the Bees back into it.
On 58 minutes the Bees were level as Megan Alexander’s cross broke to Merrick Will on the edge of the box who fired into the goal, to score two in as many matches. It was no less than Burch’s side deserved as they dominated large spells of the second half.
It then looked like the Bees would be the only team to go on and win it as they created numerous openings, but were denied by quick goalkeeping and a few last-ditch clearances to keep the scores level. For all their openings Burch’s side couldn’t quite create the clear cut opportunity they needed to take the lead.
As the game looked to be heading for a draw the visitors snatched all three points as a defensive mix up eventually found Rutherford who slotted home to the devastation of everyone from a London Bees persuasion. It was cruel on the Bees as they had done enough in the second half to at the very least settle for a point.
Burch will look to bounce back when we face yet another London derby as we host Charlton Athletic in the Conti Cup back at The Hive next Sunday (14:00 KO).
Bees XI – Quantrill, Wilson, Alexander, Robert, Brooks (Nunn), Pickett, Horwood, Whinnett, Gamby, Hazard (Ward-Chambers), Will
Unused Subs: Lynch, Loomes, Giddings, West, Gibson