Palace’s development side picked up their first point of the new campaign with a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Charlton Athletic on Wednesday afternoon. The result came a week after a disappointing defeat to London rivals Millwall at Selhurst Park in their opening game.
The inclusion of some of Palace's U21 regulars in the Capital One Cup game on Tuesday meant that Gary Issot was forced to name a younger than usual group of players for this fixture. But that didn't stop the young Eagles making a quick start to the game, as Sullay Kaikai saw his free-kick superbly parried away by Charlton stopper Dillon Phillips.
It didn’t take much longer for Palace to edge ahead at Sparrow Lane, with their positive start bearing its rewards. Luke Croll cleverly slid the ball into the path of Ibra Sekajja, whose cross was met by Jake Gray, handing his side the lead with a spectacular volley into the bottom corner.
However it took just one minute for the Addicks to respond as Tobi-Sho Silva blasted wide from a good position. Palace had lots of defending to do, as a Charlton onslaught was the pattern for the remainder of the first half.
Eagles keeper David Gregory was forced into action after a well-worked corner from the home side. Midfielder Diego Poyet, son of Gus, faked a short delivery before whipping a dangerous ball onto the head of Adebayo Azeez, which forced a wonderful diving save from the man between the sticks.
The resistance lost its hold in injury time, just as Palace looked as though they would take a narrow lead into the interval. A low effort from Harry Gerard was saved by the feet of Gregory, but Jack Mumms reacted quickest to tuck home the rebound and level it up at half-time.
After the play restarted, neither side created a clear-cut chance until the 70 minute mark, when Gray almost added a second, only to see his shot cannon back off the underside of the crossbar.
The visitors were then handed a numerical advantage with just under 10 minutes left to play, after Gerard was sent off for kicking out at a Palace player in retaliation, despite protests from the sideline.
The Eagles pressed for a late winner, making full use of the extra man and they managed to carve out one final chance when Connor Dymond forced a save from Phillips, before Croll saw his shot on the rebound hit the post as both sides settled for a point each.
Charlton: Phillips, Holmes-Dennis, Lennon, Azeez, Sho-Silva, Gerard, Osborne, Poyet, Fox, Jordan (C), Munns.
Palace: Gregory, Gordon, Croll, Dymond (C), Taylor, Blake (Parsons), Gray, Sow, Tieku (Guediora), Sekajja, KaiKai (Boateng).