Crewe Alexandra Under 23’s lost out 4-0 to Crystal Palace at Gresty Road, despite playing well for long periods in the first half.
The more clinical visitors scored twice before half-time through Nya Kirby & James Daly before adding a Jason Lokilo penalty early in the second half & a late Kian Flanagan strike from distance.
The Alex came out the traps the better side and had early chances to take the lead, Tommy Lowery rifling a 20-yarder marginally over the top.
A superb flowing move on 11 minutes then saw Oli Finney whack a first-time shot from the edge of the box off the post from Lewis Reilly’s deep cross from the by-line.
The Alex continued to work openings, but it was Palace who went ahead in the 32nd minute, Kirby tucking away a superb low cross from Levi Lumeka from the left-hand-side.
It was 2-0 just six minutes later, Kirby this time turning provider with a drilled left-wing free-kick that was headed into the corner by striker Daly.
Five minutes into the second period and the Eagles were awarded a penalty after Daly was fouled on the by-line, Lokilo stepping up to strike. Dave Richards got a strong had to the powerful spot-kick but couldn’t keep it out, with the ball finding its way into the top corner.
The second period failed to match the intensity of the first, with Flanagan lashing one into the bottom corner from distance on 84 minutes to add further gloss to the score-line.
Lewis Reilly a super 20-yard free-kick fantastically saved onto the crossbar by Palace keeper Joe Tupper two minutes from time, but by then the damage had been done.
Crewe: Richards, T.Johnson, Bakayogo, Offord, Walker, Lundstram, Finney (Adebisi), Lowery, Hurst (Griffiths), Walsh, Reilly