Palace’s development side clinched their first win since October as Corie Andrews struck late to complete a fine comeback win at Colchester.
The attacker’s strike five minutes from time ended a run of eight games without success as Gary Issott’s men claimed a hard-fought three points after trailing 2-1 with 10 minutes remaining.
A quiet opening half an hour saw little in the way of goalmouth action with Andrews having the best opportunity when he saw a shot on the angle go close, but soon after the U’s took the lead when Femi Akinwande drove forward on the counter-attack and rifled an unstoppable shot past David Gregory.
That’s the way things remained until the break, but it took just two minutes for Palace to draw level following the interval. Randell Williams cut in from the left and side and fizzed the ball in at the near post to score his second goal for the development side since his January arrival.
The hosts dealt with the blustery conditions and poor playing surface better during the game and they made their pressure tell around the hour mark when a shot deflected off Gregory and allowed right-back Tosin Olufemi to tap the ball in.
Gregory then made a couple of good saves at his near post to prevent the Essex side going further in front, but the introduction of Levi Lumeka from the bench changed the complexion of the game, and he scored his first goal at under-21 level on 80 minutes when a corner towards the back post wasn’t cleared and Lumeka was in the right place to strike the ball sweetly into the net.
That gave Palace renewed hope and five minutes later they got themselves in front for the first time. A free-kick was earned out wide and was again not properly dealt with by the defence, and the ball found its way out to Andrews on the edge of the box who controlled it with his right foot before lashing it past the opposition keeper with his left to complete the comeback.
Palace: Gregory, George, O’Dwyer (Wynter 50), Croll, Scales, Coker (Lumeka 70), Hoare, Dreher, Williams, Andrews, Berkeley-Agyepong (Hayford 89). Subs not used: Perntreou, Lokilo.