Mayra Ramirez's first Chelsea goal sent the Blues into the last eight of this season's FA Women's Cup.

We came up against a resolute Palace outfit who left us frustrated with their organisation and discipline in the opening 45 minutes. Johanna Rytting Kaneryd had our best chance, rounding Demi Lambourne in the visiting goal but finding the side netting with the resulting effort.

It remained goalless deep into the second half, although there was a sign that Crystal Palace's solid defence was beginning to creak when Sjoeke Nusken found the net from the rebound after Mayra Ramirez hit the crossbar, but it was ruled out for offside.

The only goal of the game arrived with 10 minutes left, as Ramirez opened her Chelsea account with a fine first goal for the club, flicking a back-heeled finish through the crowd and in at the near post.

Quiet start

Emma Hayes made 10 changes to the side which overcame Sunderland in the League Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday. Hannah Hampton returned in goal and was protected by a back four of Ashley Lawrence, Jess Carter, Nathalie Bjorn and captain Niamh Charles.

Erin Cuthbert and Melanie Leupolz anchored the midfield, while Johanna Rytting Kaneryd, Fran Kirby and Guro Reiten supported Mayra Ramirez in attack. There was a late change to the starting line-up with Kirby replacing Lauren James ahead of kick-off.

Palace got this all-London cup tie underway in the glorious sunshine at Kingsmeadow. The visiting supporters were making themselves heard behind the goal which Palace were defending in the first half. It was a quiet opening quarter of an hour as the teams settled into the match, with an early booking for Palace skipper Aimee Everett the only action of note.

There were frequent turnovers in possession as the teams battled to gain the upper hand with an opening goal. With half an hour played, Ramirez latched onto a whipped cross from Charles but was unable to direct her headed effort on target.

We put together an intricate passage of play in and around the penalty area, which culminated in Nathalie Bjorn sending a distant strike over the crossbar.

Patience and persistence was required with Palace proving difficult to break down having been well organised defensively during the first half. Rytting Kaneryd came closest to breaking the deadlock however, she could only find the side netting having rounded Lambourne in the Palace goal meaning we entered the break all square.

Stalemate continues

Palace began the second half in much the same fashion as the first and were denied a route towards goal by an intelligent interception from Jess Carter. At the other end, the central defender lifted a header onto the roof of the net from a deep corner that was won after a neat passage of play as we began to move through the gears.

There was a double change for the Blues on the hour mark with Rytting Kaneryd and Kirby making way for Sjoeke Nusken and Aggie Beever-Jones. Ramirez did well to outmuscle her marker and work some space for herself inside the penalty area, unleashing a powerful effort that was well saved by Lambourne once again.

Off the mark in style

Ramirez came even closer when she rattled the crossbar with a powerful shot from Reiten's pass. Nusken reacted quickest to slot in the rebound, but the offside flag was raised so it didn't stand and the wait for the breakthrough continued.

As we entered the final 10 minutes and extra-time began to loom, we did get the first goal of the day and Ramirez's first in a Chelsea shirt. And what a way for the Colombian striker to open her account after joining from Levante in January, on just her second start for the Blues.

It looked a tall order to find the net as Lawrence's low cross bobbled towards the front post, but Ramirez improvised brilliantly to flick a back-heel around the corner and through the massed bodies in the box to score a spectacular goal.

From that point on our progress to the next round never looked in doubt and we even had a couple of chances to extend or lead, including Leupolz's deflected effort coming off the base of the post, but in the end the Blues had to be content with a 1-0 win.

What it means

Victory this afternoon sees us go into the hat for the quarter-final draw which will be made tomorrow (Monday 12 February) live on The One Show.

Fara Williams, Alex Scott and Jermaine Jenas will oversee proceedings. The One Show begins at 7pm (UK time) and the draw will be made in the last segment of the programme.

What’s next?

Our final competitive fixture before the February international break sees us take on Manchester City at Kingsmeadow in the Barclays Women’s Super League this Friday 16 February, with kick-off at 7.15pm (UK time).

The teams

Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Hampton; Lawrence, Carter, Bjorn, Charles (c); Cuthbert, Leupolz; Rytting Kaneryd (Beever-Jones 60), Kirby (Nusken 60), Reiten (Cankovic 76); Ramirez
Unused Subs: Musovic, Ingle, Perisset, Hamano, Buchanan
Scorer: Ramirez 81

Crystal Palace (5-4-1): Lambourne; Gibbons (Filbey 80), Percival, Reilly, Everett, Nolan; Hopcroft (Blanchard 58), Sharpe (Dennis 75), Arthur (Guyatt 75), Sibley (Atkinson 58); Hughes
Unused Subs: Negri, Johnson, Larkin
Booked: Everett (23)

Referee: Ella Broad