After the highs of scoring seven goals against Queens Park Rangers last week, Palace's development side were brought back down to earth after losing to Colchester United.
The U's raced into a 3-0 first half lead and despite Kyle de Silva pulling one back before the break, the hosts re-established their three goal cushion in the second half, meaning Hiram Boateng's brilliant late strike was a mere consolation.
Gary Issott's side got off to a slow start and were giving a warning of Colchester's attacking threat within the first 60 seconds when Dion Sembie-Ferris struck the bottom of the post, and a minute later they netted a quick-fire opener through the same player when he volleyed in after a defensive clearance.
Then on 27 minutes they doubled their lead through Jack Curtis after Anthony Jeffrey headed the ball back down into his path, and just before the break they seemingly put the game to bed when Sembie-Ferris scored a superb solo goal when he picked up on the ball on the edge of his own box and raced the length of the pitch to finish under Chris Kettings.
Seconds later though de Silva reduced the deficit when he tucked the ball home to make it 3-1 at the break, and then just after the restart Morgan Ferrier was inches away from getting his side back into the game but he narrowly evaded de Silva's cross.
But it was game over on the hour mark when a fine passing move got the U's inside the box, and from there Curtis backheeled the ball into Marley Andrews and he found Macauley Bonne who added a fourth.
The goal of the game though was scored by Boateng when he collected the ball in the middle of the park and dribbled around five defenders before casually finding the bottom corner, and a late rally by Issott's men saw Fisayo Adarabioyo head wide and de Silva go close to grabbing his second but Palace couldn't find a way back into the contest.
Palace: Kettings, Egbo, Chambers, Inniss, George, Gray (Adarbioyo 68), Boateng, Black, Allassani (Dymond 68), de Silva, Ferrier (Berkley-Agyepong 68). Subs not used: Sow, Magri.