Palace’s development side finished 2014 with a defeat after they were beaten 1-0 by Cardiff City in the Welsh capital.
A youthful Eagles side faced off against former player Danny Gabbidon amongst a strong Bluebirds side who with this result moved to joint top of the Professional Development League 2 table, despite Palace enjoying the lion’s share of the chances but found Ben Wilson in inspired form between the posts.
It was Cardiff though who had the better of the opening 20 minutes and Chris Kettings was by far the busier goalkeeper and had to make a number of saves early on. Danny Johnson twice forced the Scottish keeper to push away efforts before he made a great stop when Tom James met Tom O’Sullivan’s corner and Kettings got down low to scoop it away from danger.
Further efforts from Kadeem Harris and Johnson were also diverted before Palace kicked into gear and Sonny Black had their first attempt when a driven low effort was kept out by Wilson, and then Morgan Ferrier went close when his header was cleared away from danger by a Bluebirds defender.
The momentum had shifted and just after the half hour mark Palace were fractions away from taking the lead when Jake Gray saw a powerful shot clip off the outside of the post, and after Mandela Egbo went close with a free-kick in first half stoppage time Guido Burgstaller was next to be denied by the woodwork when he too saw a shot hit the upright.
After a rip-roaring end to the opening half, once the game restarted it was a much tighter affair but on 61 minutes the deadlock was broken. Welsh international Declan John linked up with substitute David Tutonda and he found the dangerous Johnson who slipped the ball past Kettings.
Late on the Eagles pressed for an equaliser and Gray hit a screamer from outside the box what forced Wilson to parry the ball and gather it at the second attempt, and then the City goalkeeper made a great save to deny Black from distance.
In injury-time Jacob Berkley-Agyepong thought he’d grabbed the goal Palace deserved but the impeccable Wilson once again made an impressive save to keep his clean sheet intact.
Cardiff City: Wilson, Barnum-Bobb, John, Gabbidon, James, Wharton, Harris (Tutonda 46), Burgstaller, Johnson, O'Sullivan, Velikonja (Hill 78). Subs not used: Wickham, Horton, Southam.
Crystal Palace: Kettings, Egbo, Chambers, Croll, George (Berkley-Agyepong 82), Gray, Boateng, Black, Ferrier (Adarabioyo 65), Allassani, De Silva. Subs not used: Gregory, O'Dwyer, Phillips.