Palace's first game in the new U21s Premier League saw them succumb to a 4-0 defeat at Middlesbrough.
It took just 22 minutes for Boro to take the lead when their skipper Matty Dolan picked the ball up 30 yards out and took just one touch before hitting a screamer into the top corner, leaving Ross Fitzsimons with no chance.
The advantage was doubled three minutes later as Wilson Kneeshaw prodded home the rebound after Ryan Brobbel's powerful shot was spilled.
Bayan Fenwick went closest for Palace with a 25 yard free-kick, but Palace struggled to control the home side, who went three goals ahead with another fantastic strike from Brobbel on 34 minutes.
The visitors started brightly in the second half but soon found themselves 4-0 down 11 minutes after the re-start. Kneeshaw surged into the box and sneaked over a cross for Jarrett Rivers to score from close range.
There was a rare touch for Boro keeper Connor Ripley as he firmly held Fenwick's swirling effort on 62 minutes, before Brobbel's header was then brilliantly saved by Fitzsimons after an excellent Kneeshaw cross.
The Palace keeper then performed heroics with four minutes remaining to turn round Charlie Wyke's long-range stinger as the season began disappointingly for Jamie Fullarton's side.
Boro: Ripley; Pilatos, Burgess, Jackson, Bennett, Oliver (Rivers 46), Dolan, (Waters 76), Edwards, Brobbel, Kneeshaw (Wyke 69), Fowler. Unused subs: Montgomery, Sirrell.
Palace: Fitzsimons, Akaruka (Banton 46), Chambers, Taylor, Holland, Wynter, Fenwick, Boateng, Woodley (Sow 46), Allassanni, Daniel. Unused subs: Gregory, Gray, Kai Kai.