Palace fell to the odd-goal in seven as Coventry City clinched victory at Selhurst Park in a thrilling U23 Development League encounter.
Despite an early opener from Levi Lumeka and a brace from Jason Lokilo, Richard Shaw’s side were on the receiving end of a cruel defeat, with the winning goal coming off Giovanni McGregor with 13 minutes remaining.
The Eagles enjoyed the better start and after 17 minutes they found the opener. Lokilo picked up possession on the right and found Noor Husin, who slipped a pass through the Sky Blues defence where Lumeka pounced on a slip by Josh Eccles and rounded Corey Addai before tapping home.
However, on 33 minutes they were pegged back when Pape Souare and Dion Kelly-Evans tussled for the ball on the byline and the Coventry man won out, managing to flick the ball back into the danger area where Jordan Ponticelli volleyed into the ground and found the net.
They could have edged ahead when Kwame Thomas powerfully met a Darragh Leahy cross from the left with his head but the ball flashed wide, but five minutes before the break they were handed another opportunity when Michael Phillips brought Tom Bayliss down inside the box, and Ponticelli kept his cool to slide the penalty home.
But 60 seconds later, the Eagles had drawn level again when some neat possession from the kick-off allowed Lumeka to scamper down the left, and his deflected cross eventually found Lokilo at the back post who hooked the ball high into the net.
The action-packed affair continued in the same fashion after the restart with Andre Coker denied by the legs of Addai soon after play resumed, but on 53 minutes the referee pointed to the spot again when Coker was clipped, and as he had done against Ipswich Town in the previous game, the Belgian winger tucked home the spot-kick to make it 3-2.
Searching for a hat-trick, Lokilo then forced Addai into a good stop but just after the hour mark the Sky Blues netted the sixth goal of the game in fine style, with Bilal Sayoud finding Leahy on the left wing, who then returned the ball to the overlapping winger to fire past Dion-Curtis Henry.
Both teams fancied their chances of snatching a winner and the Eagles keeper did well to tip a Bayliss shot from the edge of the box over the bar, while Coker saw a one-on-one chance at the other end go begging, but the next goal would prove to be the crucial one.
After a swift Coventry counter down the right, the ball was sent into the area where it pinballed around the box, before striking the unfortunate McGregor and finding the net to leave Palace empty-handed.
Palace: Henry, Wan-Bissaka, Phillips (McGregor 74), Woods, Tavares, Souare (Brown 64), Flanagan, Husin, Lokilo, Lumeka (Berkeley-Agyepong 46), Coker. Subs not used: Tupper, Robertson.
Coventry: Addai, Kelly-Evans, Ford, Eccles (Green 45), Leahy, Finn, Bayliss, Sayoud, Ponticelli, Thomas. Subs not used: Burroughs, Naylor, White.