Watford's Under-23s were beaten 3-1 by Crystal Palace in South London this afternoon, cementing their first back-to-back defeats since September.

Michael Folivi put the second-string side ahead from the penalty spot, but when Palace equalised just before the interval through Kian Flanagan there could be no complaints.

They had dominated, and continued to do so after half-time, and Levi Lumeka put them in front at the third time of asking following a great double save from Nathan Gartside.

The Hornets hung on but Palace added a third with nine minutes to go, scoring from a corner for the second time in the game as Michael Phillips slotted home.

Palace included Jairo Riedewald and Papa Souare in their line-up, and controlled the game nearly from start to finish.

So it came as a suprise when out of nothing Watford took a first-half lead, as Folivi was sandwiched by two home defenders and won a penalty from Brandon Mason's pinpoint pass.

He got up to dispatch the spotkick, but Flanagan would equalise moments before the break when firing through a crowd of players from a corner, which had been only partially cleared by Gartside.

The stopper was not to be blamed for defeat, though. He kept Watford in it with a string of fine saves before half-time and likewise after it, keeping out two efforts from Lumeka before he finally finished off the third four minutes after the restart.

Andrew Elefthriou was then forced off but it coincided with Watford's best spell of the game, although only Dennon Lewis' effort on the turn thratened to level things up.

Randell Williams did have one big chance for the Hornets in the final 15 minutes, latching onto Alex Jakubiak's through ball, but he was denied against his former club by a smart save from the home stopper.

And with nine minutes to go, Palace wrapped up victory when Riedewald teed up Phillips from another corner to seal the three points.

Watford: Gartside; Eleftheriou (Sesay 55), Rowan, Huja, Mason; Lewis, Dja Djedje (Charles 80), Stewart; Folivi, Pereira (Wiliams 67), Jakubiak.

Not used: Lacy, Mukena.