Charley Clifford scored a last-gasp winner to help Charlton overcome local rivals Crystal Palace and go third in the FA Women’s Championship table.

Riteesh Mishra’s side looked set for a frustrating afternoon at The Oakwood as goals from Liz Ejupi and Jordan Butler left the score at 1-1 heading into stoppage time.

However just as hope seemed lost Clifford fired in a 95th-minute winner for the Addicks after a scramble in the Palace box, condemning the visitors to a fourth straight defeat.

Charlton went into Sunday’s match hoping to extend their 100 per cent record at home this season and it was not long before they had edged in front.

A defensive mix-up in Palace’s ranks saw the ball ricochet into the path of their top scorer Ejupi, who slotted past Shanell Salgado for her sixth goal of the campaign.

The home side then went close to doubling their lead as Harley Bennett struck the bar with a looping effort, but as half-time approached parity was restored when Butler bundled in Ciara Watling’s corner from close range.

It was the first goal Palace had scored in 383 minutes and only the second Charlton had conceded in five home games at the Oakwood.

Mishra’s side regrouped during the break and piled on the pressure for most of the second half, but Palace withstood their onslaught and twice went close to completing their comeback through Chloe Burr.

But substitute Clifford netted with the last kick of the game to secure three crucial points for Charlton.

Charlton match-winner Charley Clifford said: “We were awarded an indirect free-kick at the end and we weren’t sure what to do with it, but when we took it the ball fell to me and it went in via a deflection.

“It was a big relief to finally get the winning goal. We just had to keep plugging away, making sure we were doing what the boss wants us to do, and thankfully it came off in the end.

“The game had got a little bit scrappy in the second half, so when the coach brought me on he just told me to keep the ball and make sure we kept playing to our strengths. He wanted me to make sure our quality was on point, and in the end we started popping the ball around again.

“We’ve been performing well here this season and hopefully our 100 per cent record will persuade people to keep coming to watch us.”

Palace goal-scorer Jordan Butler added: “It’s extremely frustrating to lose like that at the end, a bitter pill to swallow.

“We weren’t at our best in the first 15 minutes and that’s when we gifted Charlton their first goal with a silly mistake, but we battled hard for 90 minutes and we didn’t deserve to lose.

“It was great to get on the score-sheet, not least because scoring just before half-time made a big difference to the game and how we came out in the second half. But it’s very frustrating to concede with 20 seconds left.

“The results aren’t going our way at the moment but we are seeing progression in our performances every week. We played well for 60 minutes against Manchester United last weekend and we put in a good performance against Charlton here.

“Everyone knows the situation we were in during the summer. We’re still a work in progress.”

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