Palace moved to within a point of the top of the U21 Professional Development League 2 table as Jake Gray’s header 10 minutes from time was enough for the Eagles to beat Ipswich Town.
The midfielder netted his seventh goal in 11 appearances at this level so far this campaign to continue his electric start to the season, and help the Eagles return to form following last week’s 3-2 reverse to Brentford.
In a first half of few chances centre-back Oliver O’Dwyer headed a Jason Lokilo corner over the crossbar a minute before Kleton Perntreou was forced into his first save when he beat away a powerful drive from the hosts’ Josh Emmanuel.
The lion’s share of the chances fell to the Tractor Boys in the opening 45 minutes but the Palace keeper was hardly troubled by anything of any real note, and after the interval youngster Lokilo saw a penalty appeal turned down before Gray cut inside from the right flank, sped through on goal and let fly, but Town keeper Bartosz Bialkowski managed to scramble the ball away for a corner.
He was quickly called into action again 60 seconds later when Aaron Bissaka was next to test the shot-stopper when his low shot caused the Polish keeper to get down low to prevent it creeping in.
Opportunities continued to evade the Tractor Boys with Teddy Bishop seeing a hopeful shot fizz well over the bar after being found by James Alabi on the hour mark, but with 10 minutes to play the opening goal would finally arrive in Gary Issott’s side’s favour.
Former Ipswich loanee Zeki Fryers put in a cross from the right which found captain Connor Dymond, who nodded the ball back across the face of goal and Gray was able to nip in ahead of Bialkowski to head it into the net to hand his side the advantage that they wouldn’t relinquish.
There was a late scare for Palace though in injury time when Dylan Connolly put in a teasing cross from the right which allowed Myles Kenlock a sight of goal, but he smashed the ball into the side netting as the Eagles returned from Suffolk with all three points.
Ipswich: Bialkowski, Emmanuel, Kenlock, McDonnell, Malarczyk, Robinson, Hammond (Ford 88), Benyu (Connolly 73), Alabi, Bishop, Henshall. Subs not used: Crowe, Fowler, Ramadan.
Palace: Perntreou, Wynter, O’Dwyer (Phillips 85), Croll, Fryers, Lokilo, Dymond, Hoare, Berkley-Agyepong (Breimyr 90), Bissaka, Gray. Subs not used: Pain, Coker, Hall.