Palace started the new year by playing their part in an entertaining seven-goal thriller as they came out on top against Queens Park Rangers in Beckenham.
A patched-up Eagles side containing trialists and a number of under-16s making their debuts at this level managed to race into a 4-1 lead before being pegged back, but Paddy McCarthy’s youngsters managed to see out the final few minutes and a claim a second win in three league games under their new boss.
It took just 10 minutes for the deadlock to be broken as, playing in an alien left-back role, James Daly nodded in a corner kick to score his first of the campaign, but on 27 minutes Rangers equalised via a Tariq Ossai own goal who had the misfortune to turn a cross from the left into his own net under pressure from Leandro Ribiero.
However the Eagles would go into half-time ahead as just 60 seconds after suffering that setback, Jason Lokilo cut inside from the right and played a fine through-ball into the path of Francis Jno Baptiste who produced a composed finish to restore the advantage, and he would complete his brace two minutes before the break in similar fashion to move into double figures for the campaign.
It looked as though the game had been put to bed on 53 minutes when Palace scored the goal of the game, when a slick passing move involving Andrew Demby and Jno Baptiste saw the striker return the favour for Lokilo, who edged inside from his flank to fire the ball home and make it 4-1.
Rangers rallied and they pulled one back on the hour mark through Shiloh Remy as he netted following a scramble in the penalty area, and then five minutes from time they set up a grandstand finish when a ball over the top of the defence caught the hosts napping and Charlie Kendall produced a good finish for the game’s seventh goal.
However McCarthy’s side managed to see out the final stages and remain in third position in the table, keeping pace with leaders Charlton Athletic and Coventry City.