Palace’s development side slipped to defeat in their first outing at Selhurst Park this season as Callum Robinson scored the only goal of the game to hand victory to Bristol City.
The striker scored the game’s only goal on 19 minutes which would ensure it would be a disappointing afternoon for Gary Issott’s side, with the one positive being Connor Wickham getting a useful hour under his belt as he continues his return from injury, but there was more bad news on that front as Chung-yong Lee limped off in the first half.
The hosts had a couple of chances to take the lead within the first minute when the ball squirmed into the path of Jake Gray who fired powerfully at Max O’Leary but he pushed it away, however the midfielder managed to get to the rebound first and pick out Jordon Mutch but he sidefooted over.
O’Leary would be called into action again on 15 minutes when Wickham sped away on the halfway line and got himself inside the area but his fierce strike was blocked by the Robins keeper, and the attacker then saw a glancing header go wide from an Aaron Bissaka cross.
But after their bright start the Eagles slipped behind on 19 minutes. Robinson, who had blazed the ball into the Holmesdale a minute before, stole possession from Oliver O’Dwyer and found himself one-on-one with Alex McCarthy and kept his composure to find a way past the Palace custodian and hand the visitors the initiative.
McCarthy then had to save with his legs when Lee was dispossessed and this time Marley got free but saw his effort saved, however the South Korean was injured in the process and was forced off with what looked to be an ankle problem.
He was replaced by Jason Lokilo and the 17-year-old tested O’Leary when Wickham lofted a cross over to the back post but his volley was comfortable for the shot-stopper, but Gary Issott’s men would go in trailing at half-time.
The DR Congo under-20 international went closer in the second half with a deflected shot after he received the ball on the edge of the area which looped up and caused O’Leary to backpeddle but the attempt landed on the roof of the net, and soon after Wickham looked destined to score when Bissaka slid him in but his rusty effort was easily blocked by the City keeper.
He was withdrawn after an hour as he got some useful minutes under his belt, but the chances began to dry up with his replacement Jacob Berkley-Agyepong slaloming his way through the defence before blasting high and wide with just under 10 minutes to play.
The Eagles’ desperation to score was evident in the dying moments when Jake Gray took aim from 25 yards but saw another wayward shot fly over, and McCarthy had to save from Robinson late on to prevent the margin of victory being any bigger as Palace succumbed to defeat.
Palace: McCarthy; Wynter, O'Dwyer, Croll, Dymond, Lee (Lokilo 26), Gray, Hoare, Mutch (Sturgess 80), Bissaka, Wickham (Berkley-Agyepong 61). Subs not used: Pain, Breimyr.
Bristol City: O’Leary, Harris, Vyner, Batten, Kyan (Andrews 75), Harper, Dowling (Last 66), Morrell, Robinson, Evans, Bishop (McCoulsky 75). Subs not used: Woolacott, Elliott.