Fulham’s under 21s squandered a two-goal lead provided to them by classy captain Ollie O’Neill as Crystal Palace came back from 2-0 down to claim a point in an engrossing London derby at Motspur Park this afternoon.

Irish under-21 international O’Neill, who turned down offers from a number of Premier League clubs to stay at Craven Cottage, scored twice in three first-half minutes to continue his outstanding start to the PL2 campaign. The midfielder’s opener after a quarter of an hour was a fabulous free-kick, beautifully bent around the wall and past a helpless Palace keeper in Owen Goodman. The teenager made it two after being sent clear of the visiting defence by a raking pass from Charlie Robinson – and he made no mistake with a cool finish.

Palace could probably count themselves unfortunate to be two goals down at the break. They had the two clearest early chances with Killian Phillips seeing an early sighter blocked, before the number ten had another effort bravely blocked by Luciano D’Auria-Henry. George Wickens made a pair of smart saves from Rob Street before denying Phillips again in stoppage time at the end of the first half.

Paddy McCarthy’s side had dismantled Manchester United in a superb showing last Friday and got themselves right back into the contest five minutes into the second period. Noah Watson won possession from Kristian Šekularac before the ball broke to John-Kymani Gordon, who exchanged passes with Street, and stroked a clever finished past Wickens from an acute angle.

Matt Dibley-Dias sent a powerful drive from drive just wide before Palace pushed for an equaliser. Wickens pouched a Phillips header and Street nodded narrowly off target with twenty minutes to go, but the Eagles did level with fifteen minutes left. David Ozoh fed Jack Wells-Morrison who played Gordon in and the forward’s finish deflected past Wickens to make it 2-2. Gordon had a third ruled out for offside – and the hosts were indebted to a superb Wickens save when Street sought to chip him after a defensive mix-up to ensuring they held on to a point.

FULHAM UNDER 21s (4-2-3-1): Wickens; D’Auria-Henry, Odutayo, McAvoy, C. Robinson (Bowat 77); Pajaziti (Page 76), Dibley-Dias; Godo, Šekularac (Williams 88), O’Neill; McFarlane (Sanderson 70). Subs (not used): Allen.

BOOKED: Odutayo, Pajaziti, McAvoy, Wickens.

GOALS: O’Neill (15, 18).

CRYSTAL PALACE UNDER 21s: Goodman, Rodney, Balmer, Grehan, Watson, Ozoh, Wells-Morrison, Omilabu, Phillips, Gordon, Street (Akinwale 90). Subs (not used): Quick, Shala, Ola-Adebomi, Mooney.

GOALS: Gordon (51, 74).