Palace extracted some revenge against the team that ended their hopes of winning the Professional Development League title at the play-off stages last term, as braces from Jason Lokilo and James Daly beat Nottingham Forest in a seven-goal thriller.
Things began badly for the Eagles when Dion-Curtis Henry saw a clearance blocked by Brennen Johnson and the ball ricocheted into the empty net after just three minutes, but Palace bounced back and on 24 minutes when Nya Kirby laid the ball off to Lokilo, and the Belgian winger smashed an unstoppable shot into the top corner from 25 yards.
That would see the momentum shift in Palace’s favour, and five minutes later they got their noses in front. Moments after seeing a shot tipped round the post, Daly managed to bundle home the resulting corner at the second attempt after another good save by Forest stopper Tim Erlandsson.
10 minutes after the restart, Daly’s dream start to the campaign continued when Kian Flanagan found Levi Lumeka inside the box who saw his shot saved by the feet of Erlandsson, but the Eagles attacker was perfectly placed to slide home the rebound, but on the hour mark Jayden Richardson’s tap-in made it 3-2.
However on 66 minutes Lokilo restored the two-goal advantage when Flanagan dissected the defence with a fine pass for Lokilo to latch onto and fire into the bottom corner from a tight angle.
Four minutes later the hosts were handed a soft penalty which Virgil Gomes dispatched to set up a grandstand finish, but Richard Shaw’s team held firm to kick off the campaign with an excellent result.
Palace: Henry, Boateng, Bryon, Woods, Brown, McGregor (Robertson 45), Kirby, Lokilo, Flanagan, Lumeka (Addy 90), Daly (Jno-Baptiste 80). Subs not used: Tupper, Tavares.