Goals from Ryan Inniss and Kian Flanagan saw off Crewe Alexandra as Palace’s development side continued their 100% start to the new Professional Development League campaign in Beckenham.
Inniss nodded in from a corner on 19 minutes to put his side in the ascendency, and despite being the better team throughout the game, they needed a late solo strike by Flanagan to make sure of a deserved victory.
Richard Shaw’s team were in complete control of proceedings in the first half and just 90 seconds had elapsed when Flanagan flashed a shot just wide, and 18 minutes into the game Jason Lokilo took aim from range which Crewe stopper William Jaaskelainen managed to beat away.
But a minute later the Eagles got the goal their early positivity deserved. Having sustained the pressure in the final third they forced a corner, which Lokilo whipped into the box and Inniss towered above everyone to power home a header.
At the opposite end, Dion-Curtis Henry was virtually a spectator throughout the opening 45 as Palace controlled the centre of the park and continued to spring attacks, and Flanagan again went close when he embarked on a mazy dribble before shooting,but the attempt was blocked by Jaaskelainen.
Shaw’s side couldn’t quite find the key second goal in the opening half, as with a couple of minutes remaining Giovanni McGregor once again seized possession in the centre circle and set Sean Robertson down the right, and he returned the ball to McGregor who just screwed wide, and in the final action before the interval Robertson forced Jaaskelainen to push the ball past his post.
Henry was finally forced into a routine soon after play resumed when Lewis Reilly bent a free-kick towards goal which the Eagles keeper easily tipped over, but goalmouth action would be at premium until the latter stages as Crewe began to grow in confidence which made for a more even affair.
They should have equalised with 15 minutes to go when a well-placed Reilly shanked a volley over the bar, and perhaps that sharpened Palace up a little as Nya Kirby soon replied when he too miscued inside the box, before Flanagan bent a shot over.
The hosts conjured up a great chance to clinch all the points on 83 minutes when Francis Jno Baptiste robbed the ball off Billy Davies inside the box and unselfishly teed up David Boateng but he fired well wide, however they did clinch the win two minutes later when Flanagan drove from deep and fired low into the bottom corner to ensure the Eagles made it two wins out of two.
Palace: Henry, Boateng, Inniss, Bryon, Brown, McGregor, Robertson (Addy 84), Lokilo, Flanagan, Lumeka (Kirby 61), Daly (Jno-Baptiste 77). Subs not used: Tupper, Tavares.
Crewe: Jaaskelainen, Johnson, Davies, Offord, Adebesi, Dale, Lundstram, Lynch (Linton 70), Finney, Reilly, Griffiths (Heath 86). Subs not used: Booth, Odipe, Fenton.