Table-toppers Charlton Athletic edged out their south London rivals Palace in what was manager Ken Gillard’s final game with the under-18 side before moving to Arsenal’s academy.
However the Eagles couldn’t send him off with a victory as the Addicks stole the win with four minutes remaining to leave Palace third in the table, although only four points behind their local rivals with a game in hand following their postponed game against Coventry City the weekend before.
The visitors began the game well and looked the more likely to score in the first half. Albie Morgan shot narrowly off target from range and Ben Dempsey saw a tame strike easily saved by Colm McAdden in the Palae goal during some early pressure, but after it looked like Palace would have the chance to regroup at the break level, the Addicks grabbed the lead a minute before the break.
Alex Willis was fouled on the edge of the box by Tariq Ossai and Alfie Doughty managed to dispatch the free-kick into the top corner to give the Valley outfit the lead at the interval.
But just four minutes after the restart Palace were handed a great chance to equalise when Andrew Demby was knocked over in the area, but Francis Jno Baptiste couldn’t continue his fine goalscoring start to the campaign as he saw his spot-kick saved by Ashley Maynard-Brewer.
Baptiste then had another opportunity to restore parity when he raced through on goal after a Demby pass but he saw his effort blocked once again by the visiting goalkeeper, however five minutes later it turned out to be second-time lucky for Palace as Demby won another penalty, and this time dusted himself down to send Maynard-Brewer the wrong way from 12 yards and level the scores.
There was to be late woe for Gillard’s boys though as with four minutes to go and the game heading for a deserved draw for both teams, Charlton won another free-kick in dangerous territory and Tyler Maloney did brilliantly to fire another set-piece home, leaving McAdden with no chance and grab the local bragging rights for the Addicks who have now won six of their last seven outings.
Palace: McAdden, Hosannah, Tavares, Jones, Ossai, Yeboah, Woods (Serrato 46, Okorougo 82), Lokilo (Fundi 46), Demby, Hungbo, Jno-Baptiste. Subs not used: Funnell, Lynch.