Palace’s academy side returned to winning ways by thrashing Sheffield Wednesday in their rearranged league game, with Levi Lumeka scoring twice on a fine afternoon’s work by the under-18s.
Having lost to Charlton Athletic in their previous game, Ken Gillard’s boys came back from conceding an early goal to score three times in an explosive eight minute spell to stun the visitors, before adding two more to the scoresheet to record their largest win of the season so far.
A sign of things to come arrived just four minutes in when Andre Coker picked out Lumeka inside the area but he mis-hit the ball wide, but the Eagles fell behind against the run of play on 10 minutes when a corner was sent over to the far post and Warren Clarke found the net with a header.
But it only took them five minutes to draw level when Lumeka picked up the ball on the left and put in a fine cross for Bryce Hosannah to volley home at the back post to restore parity.
From then on it was one-way traffic and Corie Andrews sent an effort narrowly wide after being found by Coker, but on 21 minutes the midfielder had the ball just outside the box and fed Andrews, who showed good feet to escape past a defender and tee up Lumeka who finished well.
Two minutes later Lumeka was celebrating again when a neat first-time pass by Michael Phillips set Victor Fundi free and he showed good skill to pick out Lumeka, who shrugged off a defender to finish off a great team move and complete his brace.
It was 4-1 on 40 minutes when a left-footed delivery from Callum Sturgess was met by the head of Sam Woods who powered the ball past the Owls keeper and hand his side a firm advantage at the interval.
With the result virtually in the bag Palace were comfortable in the second half but did add a fifth when Andrews went through on goal, held off a defender and won a penalty, which was converted by the impressive Coker on 66 minutes to put the cap on a great performance by a team including just three second-year scholars.
Palace: Pain, Hosannah, Jones, Woods, Sturgess, Coker (Flanagan 69), Phillips (Yeboah 80), Dreher, Lumeka, Fundi (Bennett 75), Andrews. Subs not used: McAdden, Ossai.