As well as being Palace's top scorer this season, Michael Phillips came to his side's rescue in the most dramatic fashion as he saved a penalty in the last seconds of the game to clinch a victory at Crewe Alexandra.
The midfielder, who was already playing as a makeshift defender in the contest, was drawn into an emergency goalkeeper role in the dying moments after shot-stopper Oliver Pain was knocked unconscious in the process of conceding a penalty, but Phillips produced heroics in goal to ensure a dramatic win.
With five under-16s players starting the game, Ken Gillard continued to look towards next season and two of them linked up to provide the Eagles with a perfect start after just two minutes. Making his full debut at under-18 level, Luke Dreher played in fellow debutant Levi Lumeka who found the net with a neat left-footed finish.
Palace continued to create chances and Andre Coker was next to try his luck when he connected with a Ryan King-Elliott cross from the right, and on the half an hour mark the latter saw a volley at the back post fly wide after Sam Woods flicked the ball into his path.
At half-time Gillard introduced another under-16 into the mix in Cian Flanagan and he impressed by setting up the visitors' second goal when his pin-point pass was latched onto by Coker who showed great skill to lob the ball over the keeper and establish a two goal lead.
With six minutes to go Crewe pulled one back when Palace lost the ball in the middle of the pitch and one pass allowed a Railwaymen striker to finish past Pain, but the real drama was still to come with seconds to play.
On another counter-attack, a home attacker was brought down by Pain who received the knockout blow in the process. After 20 minutes of treatment on the pitch, after which the keeper was taken to hospital before given the all-clear, with all their substitutes used Phillips donned the Eagles' goalkeeper jersey for the final kick of the game and guessed the right way to save the resulting penalty and clinch the win.