Palace’s under-21 side moved back to the top of the Professional Development League 2 table after some late drama saw them overcome Bristol City.
A slow start from Gary Issott’s men saw them fall behind halfway through the first half, but an Owen Garvan penalty and second-half goals from Jake Gray and Reise Allassani put them seemingly home and dry.
But after conceding a goal with six minutes to go, and then seeing the visitors miss a penalty a minute later, Sam Magri scored late on to make sure of the victory.
The Robins enjoyed the better start and David Gregory was kept busy early on when Connor Evans raced through but saw his effort blocked by the Palace keeper, and from the resulting corner he then made a brilliant reaction save to tip Jack Batten’s header onto the crossbar.
But on 23 minutes the visitors grabbed the lead in the simplest fashion. A punt by goalkeeper Max O’Leary landed inbetween the Eagles defence and Gregory, and with no-one from the home side taking control of the situation Evans pounced on the hesitancy to drill the ball past the back-peddling stopper.
But five minutes later Palace were given a great chance to hit back when Gray was brought crashing down inside the area, and Garvan stepped up to send O’Leary the wrong way with a coolly taken penalty.
With their confidence boosted, after the interval Palace looked a different side. Two minutes after the restart Keshi Anderson looked to have given them the lead when he was found via a cute pass from Gray, but O’Leary pulled off a stunning stop.
But on the hour mark they did find a way to edge in front. On his development side debut, Christian Scales pushed forward on the left and put a hanging cross into the area which was poorly punched by O’Leary and Gray was on hand at the back post to steer the ball in from close range.
And four minutes later their dominance was reflected in the scoreline as they added a third. Morgan Ferrier found Anderson who slipped in Allassani, and the winger made no mistake with his one-on-one opportunity to register his third of the season.
Aiming to seal the win, Anderson twisted and turned in the box and saw a swerving shot caught by O’Leary, Garvan should have done better when he was picked out by Allassani and Gray skipped around O’Leary but the keeper managed to knock the ball out of his path at the last moment.
Those missed opportunities nearly came back to haunt the Eagles as on 84 minutes another long ball over the top was latched onto by Evans who had ample time to tuck the ball home, and a minute later Evans was brought down in the box by Gregory to hand City a chance to snatch a draw but on a hat-trick the striker blazed his spot-kick over.
Having survived that let-off, Palace then wrapped up the win with two minutes to go when Garvan whipped a free-kick into the area which was gleefully headed home by Magri to clinch the three points required to return to the top of the table.
Palace: Gregory, Collins, Magri, Croll, Scales (Sow 72), Gray, Black, Garvan, Allassani (Berkley-Agyepong 84), Anderson, Ferrier (Adarabioyo 68). Subs not used: Nazin, N’Diane.
Bristol City: O’Leary, Withey, Batten, Murphy, Hall, Fry (Hunter 72), Morell, Vyner, Gilabert (Horgan 62), Evans, Bishop (Difford 81). Sub not used: Woollocot.