Two young sides met on a cold and windy evening at Selhurst Park as Chelsea and Palace shared the honours in the development league after a 2-2 draw.
The home side started the quickest and Ibra Sekajja forced a good save from Blues' keeper Jamal Blackman before Patrick Bamford almost broke free of the Eagles defence, only to thwarted by Quade Taylor's last ditch challenge. Islam Feruz, who had impressed in last season's FA Youth Cup, was the next Chelsea youngster to try his luck but Lewis Price got down well to save smartly.
Stuart O'Keefe had started the game brightly and was soon to provide the biggest cheer of the night. Blackman raced out to beat Sekajja to a long through ball, but the forward's tackle saw the loose ball break to Palace and O'Keefe took full advantage, side-stepping one challenge before passing the ball calmly into the back of the net to give Palace the lead. Sekajja almost doubled the lead from Parsons' cross and was perhaps pleased to see the flag go up as he fluffed his effort.
Price proved his worth with a smart save from the dangerous Bamford but then was only able to watch on as Ruben Loftus Cheek headed over from Lewis Baker's corner. Bayan Fenwick then showed a glimpse of quality with a through-ball that nearly set Jason Banton clear but Blackman's speed off the line rushed the young winger whose first touch was too heavy and the chance went begging.
The Blues were soon level though and through a moment of pure quality. George Saville picked the ball up in central midfield and unleashed a rocket that flew onto the post and past a rooted Price in the Palace goal. Feruz nearly made it two for the visitors as he raced onto Blackman's fantastic long-throw but again Taylor did well to cover and keep the scores level going into the second half.
Again, the Eagles started the half the brighter and Alex Wynter
nearly gave Jamie Fullarton's side the lead but was just unable to reach Aaron Martin's flick from Hiram Boateng's chipped free-kick. That early pressure was soon to pay dividends as Banton raced clear, held off Nathan Ake and struck a low left-footed drive into the bottom corner.
The deserved lead didn't last long though as again the ball broke to Saville in the midfield and he again drove home from more than 20 yards to bring Dermot Drummy level. Fullarton's side almost regained the look through a carbon copy run from Banton, but the young winger's shot dribbled agonisingly wide of Blackman's goal as the scores remained level.
Blackman and Feruz wasted late chances for the visitors and Reise Allassani's late introduction almost gave Palace enough spark for the winner but the scores remained level as Palace earned another valuable point.
Palace: Price, Wynter, Parsons, Taylor, Martin, O'Keefe, Fenwick, Boateng, Sekajja, Banton (Allassani), Daniel
Subs: Fitzsimons, Akuruka, Kai-Kai, Gabsi
Chelsea: Blackman, Kane, Davey, Ake, Deen Conteh, Saville, Feruz, Loftus Cheek (Clifford), Bamford, Clifford (Boga), Baker (Noiti)
Subs: Pappoe, Killip