Michael Phillips grabbed the only goal of the game 10 minutes from time to secure an opening day victory for Crystal Palace’s development squad against Nottingham Forest.
The Eagles included the likes of Steve Mandanda, Yohan Cabaye, James Tomkins and Joe Ledley in their side that started the game at the City Ground as all continue what is effectively their pre-season after missing the majority of the summer.
A quiet first half saw a couple of early chances for the Reds but Tyler Walker and Ben Brereton missed the target, while the visitors’ best chance fell to Andre Coker who hit a vicious strike towards goal but saw it pushed away by the palms of Tim Erlandsson.
Mandanda was called into action for the first time of note after the restart when he prevented Walker’s stinging shot from finding the net, and his French Euro 2016 teammate Cabaye had the chance to open the scoring from a free-kick but saw it curl narrowly over the top.
Palace had a let-off when Brereton managed to beat the offside trap to race in behind the Eagles backline but when faced with the presence of Mandanda in front of him he slipped the ball wide of the target, and then Walker forced the keeper into another save which saw him tip over soon after as Forest upped the ante.
But in the 80th minute Palace snatched the winner, when a corner into the area was pushed into the path of Phillips by Erlandsson who scrambled it home to clinch the win for Palace on day one.
Palace: Mandanda, Wynter, Tomkins (Phillips 60), Croll, Akiotu, Ledley, Cabaye (Kirby 75), Berkeley-Agyepong (Boateng 46), Dreher, Coker, Anderson. Subs not used: McAdden, Husin.