After taking an early lead against a very strong Ipswich Town, Crystal Palace Under-23s narrowly fell to a fightback from their hosts yesterday afternoon.
Jason Lokilo opened the scoring against a Tractor Boy side which included 10 players to have featured for the League One club's first-team. One man helping to lead the Blues' frontline was former Eagle Freddie Sears, 'scorer' of an infamous 'ghost goal' against Bristol City, who was continuing his return to fitness after a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
Lokilo netted having collected the ball on the edge of the box from Gio McGregor. Despite being at a shallow angle 12 yards out, the 21-year-old buried well inside the far post.
But Ipswich responded swiftly and pulled level through Armando Dobra, who struck home from close range under pressure.
An enjoyable match continued with both teams enjoying chances to nip in front. Perhaps the clearest of these fell to Sears, who shot narrowly wide from a close distance early in the second-half.
Under-18 defender Jude Russell displayed a fine piece of defending when he hooked over a Grant Ward cross but Ipswich seemed energised when Idris El Mizouni struck a header off the crossbar.
McGregor retorted with a smart shot to force a fine save, but Ipswich eventually broke the deadlock through left-back Barry Cotter with a triumphant volley from inside the box. Only a lightning-fast save from Dion-Curtis Henry prevented the home team from netting a third time, but by the final whistle the score showed only a marginal Ipswich victory.
Watch full highlights of Palace's Development clash for free below!