Victor Fundi grabbed his first hat-trick for the Eagles’ under-18s as they beat Cardiff City in an eight-goal thriller.
Ken Gillard’s boys came from 3-1 down to register a comfortable victory in the end, however they suffered early setbacks in the form of Callum Sturgess limping off injured in the first few minutes before the hosts grabbed the lead after 15 minutes when Ibi Sosani netted a header at the back post.
But on the half-hour mark the Eagles levelled when Giovanni McGregor’s corner was turned in by Sam Woods, and Palace began to turn the screw with Kian Flanagan seeing a shot fly just past the post before he forced the Cardiff keeper to tip over another effort.
And on the stroke of half-time, they took the lead when Fundi broke clear and was brought down for a penalty kick, which he picked himself off the ground to dispatch home from 12 yards and give his team the half-time advantage.
However it would only last three minutes after the restart when a well-taken shot from just outside the area from James Waite found the net via the foot of the post, and soon the Bluebirds got in front again when a collision between Colm McAdden and Jalen Jones allowed Cameron Coxe the easiest of tap-ins.
But on 57 minutes the move of the match led to Fundi scoring his second. McGregor picked out Flanagan on the left wing, whose deep cross was received by Bryce Hosannah and the full-back got the byline and centred for Fundi to make it 3-3.
The visitors grabbed the lead back on 75 minutes when McGregor turned the ball home after James Daly’s set-piece found Jones inside the area, and three minutes later Fundi wrapped up the win when Hosannah was felled inside the area, allowing the striker to complete his treble and seal the win.
Palace: McAdden, Ossai, Woods, Jones, Sturgess (Lokilo 3, Serranto 60), Bryon, McGregor, Hosannah, Flanagan, Daly (Ozono 60), Fundi. Subs not used: Funnell, Lynch.