Crystal Palace’s under-21 side rounded off their season with an action-packed ten-goal thriller against Stoke City.
The development side battled back to draw 5-5 with the Potters, despite going behind on three occasions during a breathless 90 minutes.
Stoke had the ball in the net early on when Jordan Richardson’s in-swinging free-kick evaded everyone and crept in at the far post, but the goal was chalked off for offside.
And after 19 minutes the visitors took full advantage of the decision, as Kwesi Appiah got to the byline before finding Reise Allassani at the back post, who had the simple task of tapping in from close range.
But their lead was short-lived as Stoke replied just two minutes later through winger Adam Thomas, who beat his man and showed great composure to slot past Tom King in the Palace goal.
Soon after, the home side turned the game on its head. A surging run by Andy Musungu earned the Potters a corner and Lucas Dawson’s kick was converted by Immanuel Parry with a powerful close-range header.
Thomas and Charlie Ward both missed chances to extend Stoke’s lead and those misses proved costly, as Palace repeated the trick by scoring twice in quick succession to take a 3-2 lead.
The Eagles pulled level on 40 minutes when Ryan Inniss got up well to head home from a Dean Parrett corner.
And just two minutes later Palace went in front when Kwesi Appiah bagged his tenth goal of the season, after firing past Daniel Bachmann in the Potters’ goal.
It looked as though Gary Issott’s men would take a narrow lead into the break, but those hopes were dashed in the dying moments of the first half.
Another dangerous corner by Dawson picked out Richardson at the far post, whose downward header bounced past King and into the roof of the net. It was the third goal in five minutes at the end of a remarkable first half.
And the second half began in a similar frenetic vain as Ward shot wide for Stoke, before Ibra Sekajja somehow blazed over from six yards with the goal at his mercy.
Stoke made him pay for the miss on 57 minutes, as James Alabi drilled a low centre across the six- yard box which somehow evaded strike partner John Marsden. But Thomas was on hand at the far post to tap in his second of the game and make it 4-3.
Bachmann was then called upon at the other end, making a great save to deny Appiah, before Allassani fired inches wide as the visitors went in search of a second equaliser. And that duly came with an hour played when Appiah bagged his brace, heading home a corner at the back post.
Richardson and Alabi both went close before Marsden restored the Potters’ lead with the best goal of the game, hammering into the bottom left-hand corner from 30 yards. It was a strike fitting of winning any football match and it looked as though it would be enough to seal all three points for the home side.
But Palace showed great resilience to respond for a third time late on, as a Parrett free-kick was adjudged to have hit a hand in the Stoke wall and a penalty was given.
Hiram Boateng stepped up and coolly dispatched the spot-kick to earn the Eagles a share of the spoils in an enthralling encounter.
Stoke: Bachmann; Keane, Parry, Dawson, Musungu; Hall, Ward, Richardson, Thomas; Alabi, Marsden (Barrington, 77)
Palace: Fitzsimmons; Taylor, Wynter, Inniss, Parsons; Sekajja, Parrett, Boatang (Akuruka, 90), Allasanni; Banton (Palmer, 73); Appiah (Henry-Francis, 83)